Word of the Day : July 30, 2018


adjective tem-PESS-chuh-wus


: of, relating to, or resembling a violent storm : turbulent, stormy

Did You Know?

Time is sometimes marked in seasons, and seasons are associated with the weather. This explains how tempus, the Latin word for "time," could have given rise to an English adjective for things turbulent and stormy. Tempus is the root behind Old Latin tempestus, meaning "season," and Late Latin tempestuosus, the direct ancestor of tempestuous. As you might expect, tempus is also the root, by way of the Latin tempestas ("season, weather, or storm"), of the noun tempest. Tempus may also be akin to the Latin verb temperare ("to moderate, mix, or temper"), which made its way through Anglo-French to become the English temper.


Because the player's relationship with his manager had grown more tempestuous over the course of the season, the decision to trade him benefited everyone.

"The U.S. government stripped its embassy in Nicaragua down to bare-bone operations Monday after five days of deadly protests around the country, despite Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's efforts to calm his tempestuous nation." — Monique O. Madan and Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald, 23 Apr. 2018

Word Family Quiz

What is the meaning of the noun contretemps, a French-based word rooted in Latin tempus?



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!