tor·​ren·​tial | \tȯ-ˈren(t)-shəl, tə-\

Definition of torrential 

1a : relating to or having the character of a torrent torrential rains

b : caused by or resulting from action of rapid streams torrential gravel

2 : resembling a torrent in violence or rapidity of flow

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Other Words from torrential

torrentially \ tȯ-​ˈren(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē , tə-​ \ adverb

Examples of torrential in a Sentence

The rain caused torrential flooding.

Recent Examples on the Web

The movie cuts directly from Paris to a thatched hut in Tahiti where Gauguin is furiously painting, oblivious to the torrential downpour outside. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018 But half an hour before it was supposed to begin, there was a torrential downpour, complete with thunder and lightning. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A Look Back at All of Queen Elizabeth's Presidential Meetings," 13 July 2018 The weather was cooperating, too: After a day of torrential downpours on Sunday, things cleared up on Monday. New York Times, "8 Saved, 5 to Go in Thai Cave Rescue," 9 July 2018 There was a torrential downpour a couple of hours ago. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 8, 2018," 8 July 2018 The storms could bring damaging wind gusts, torrential rain and large hail, the weather service said. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Severe thunderstorms moving across southern Wisconsin; thunderstorm watch in effect," 13 July 2018 The property was also damaged by torrential rains in 2005. Maria Pasquini,, "Famous Blade Runner House Listed for $23 Million: See the Photos!," 12 July 2018 Remember May and June, and all of the torrential rain? Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Washington is in a ‘flash drought,’ with only fleeting chances of rain in the forecast," 12 July 2018 Franco getting ‘a little push’ from trade talk Thanks to torrential rain May 15 in Baltimore, the Phillies will get one more look at Manny Machado in a makeup game Thursday night. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies' Maikel Franco making a play to stay | Extra Innings," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torrential.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of torrential

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for torrential

The first known use of torrential was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of torrential

: coming in a large, fast stream

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Comments on torrential

What made you want to look up torrential? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express warning or disapproval

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