American English

Definition of storm noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1very bad weather with strong winds and rain, and often thunder and lightning fierce/heavy/violent storms A few minutes later the storm broke (= began). I think we're in for a storm (= going to have one). storm damage Topic CollocationsThe Weathergood weather be bathed in/bask in/be blessed with/enjoy bright/brilliant/glorious sunshine the sun shines/warms something/beats down (on something) the sunshine breaks/streams through something fluffy/wispy clouds drift across the sky a gentle/light/stiff/cool/warm breeze blows in/comes in off the sea the snow crunches beneath/under somebody's feet/bootsbad weather thick/dark/storm clouds form/gather/roll in/cover the sky/block out the sun the sky darkens/turns black a fine mist hangs in the air a dense/heavy/thick fog rolls in the rain falls/comes down (in buckets/sheets)/pours down snow falls/comes down/covers something/blankets something the wind blows/whistles/howls/picks up/whips through something/sweeps across something strong/gale-force winds blow/gust (up to 80 mph) a storm is approaching/is moving inland/hits/strikes/rages thunder rolls/rumbles/sounds (forked/sheet) lightning strikes/hits/flashes a (blinding/snow) blizzard hits/strikes/blows/rages a tornado touches down/hits/strikes/destroys something/rips through something forecast/expect/predict rain/snow/a category-four hurricane rain pours (down) get caught in/seek shelter from/escape the rain be covered/shrouded in mist/a blanket of fog be in for/brave/shelter from a/the storm hear rolling/distant thunder be battered/buffeted by strong winds battle against/brave the elementsthe weather improves the sun breaks through the clouds the sky clears/brightens (up)/lightens (up) the clouds part/clear the rain stops/lets up/holds off the wind dies down the storm passes the mist/fog lifts/clears Vocabulary Buildingrain and stormsrain Drizzle is fine light rain. A shower is a short period of rain. A downpour or a cloudburst is a heavy fall of rain that often starts suddenly. When it is raining very hard, you can say that it is pouring or pouring rain. You can also say:The heavens opened. or It's raining cats and dogs. A flood is a lot of water moving into an area. A flash flood moves into an area very quickly and is extremely dangerous.storms A thunderstorm is a storm with thunder and lightning and usually very heavy rain. A hurricane has very strong winds and begins at sea. A monsoon is a period of very heavy rain in particular countries, or the wind that brings this rain. A cyclone and a typhoon are types of violent tropical storms with very strong winds. A squall is a sudden strong, violent wind, usually in a rain or snow storm. A tornado (or informaltwister) has very strong winds that move in a circle, often with a long narrow cloud. A whirlwind moves very fast in a spinning movement and causes a lot of damage. A dust storm carries clouds of dust in the wind over a wide area. A blizzard is a snow storm with very strong winds. A whiteout is a blizzard in which you cannot see anything around you. Tempest is used mainly in literary language to describe a violent storm.
  2. 2(in compounds) very bad weather of the type mentioned a thunderstorm/snowstorm/sandstorm see also electrical storm, rainstorm
  3. 3storm (of something) a situation in which a lot of people suddenly express very strong feelings about something a storm of protest A political storm is brewing over the President's comments.
  4. 4storm of something a sudden loud noise that is caused by emotion or excitement synonym roar a storm of applause see also brainstorm
  5. Idioms
    any port in a storm (saying)
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    if you are in great trouble, you take any help that is offered
    the calm before the storm
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    a calm time immediately before an expected period of violent activity or argument
    cook, dance, etc. up a storm (informal)
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    to cook, dance, etc. with great energy and enthusiasm That band can play up a storm!
      take something/somebody by storm
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    1. 1to be extremely successful very quickly in a particular place or among particular people The play took New York by storm.
    2. 2to attack a place suddenly and capture it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: storm