tor·​ren·​tial tȯ-ˈren(t)-shəl How to pronounce torrential (audio)
: relating to or having the character of a torrent
torrential rains
: caused by or resulting from action of rapid streams
torrential gravel
: resembling a torrent in violence or rapidity of flow
torrentially adverb

Examples of torrential in a Sentence

The rain caused torrential flooding.
Recent Examples on the Web Almost every winter, torrential rains compounded by increasingly high tides lead to flooding in La Digue’s main village. Frank Hulley-Jones, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 More than 100,000 customers are without power in Florida Thursday morning after torrential rain and winds topping 65 mph slammed the state. Max Golembo, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 Sky News Residents tell us that one family climbed up to the school from their house to stay safe from the torrential rainfall of Storm Daniel. Yousra Elbagir, NBC News, 16 Sep. 2023 The storm, named Storm Ciaran by the U.K.’s Met Office, brought high winds and torrential rain to large parts of France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the U.K., Italy and Spain, forcing school closures and disruption to rail and air travel. Gareth Vipers, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2023 The storm’s torrential rain is forecast to produce widespread totals of 8 to 16 inches, and localized amounts up to 20 inches through Friday. Emily M. Eng, Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2023 Lucky for us the torrential rains held off until the party ended. Janet B. Carson, Arkansas Online, 30 Oct. 2023 The 5 hurricane categories, explained The storm’s torrential rain is forecast to produce widespread totals of 8 to 16 inches, and localized amounts up to 20 inches through Friday. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 25 Oct. 2023 Amid flashing floods caused by torrential downpours plummeting New York City, Sally — a sea lion in the Central Park Zoo in the heart of Manhattan — saw a way out of her enclosure, swimming around to visit a new area of the popular attraction. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 30 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'torrential.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


torrent entry 1 + -ial

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of torrential was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near torrential

Cite this Entry

“Torrential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


tor·​ren·​tial tȯ-ˈren-chəl How to pronounce torrential (audio)
: relating to or resembling a torrent
torrential rains
torrentially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on torrential

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