- A violent disturbance of the atmosphere, attended by wind, rain, snow, hail, or thunder and lightning; hence, often, a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail, whether accompanied with wind or not."We hear this fearful tempest sing, Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm." [Shak.]
- A violent agitation of human society; a civil, political, or domestic commotion; sedition, insurrection, or war; violent outbreak; clamor; tumult."I will stir up in England some black storm." [Shak.]"Her sister Began to scold and raise up such a storm." [Shak.]
- A heavy shower or fall, any adverse outburst of tumultuous force; violence."A brave man struggling in the storms of fate." [Pope.]
- [Mil] A violent assault on a fortified place; a furious attempt of troops to enter and take a fortified place by scaling the walls, forcing the gates, or the like.synonyms: Tempest; violence; agitation; calamity." Storms beat, and rolls the main; O! beat those storms, and roll the seas, in vain." [Pope.]"What at first was called a gust, the same Hath now a storm's, anon a tempest's name." [Donne.]
Note: ☞ Storm is often used in the formation of self-explained compounds; as, storm-presaging, stormproof, storm-tossed, and the like.
Usage: Storm Tempest. Storm is violent agitation, a commotion of the elements by wind, etc., but not necessarily implying the fall of anything from the clouds. Hence, to call a mere fall or rain without wind a storm is a departure from the true sense of the word. A tempest is a sudden and violent storm, such as those common on the coast of Italy, where the term originated, and is usually attended by a heavy rain, with lightning and thunder.
Etymology: AS. storm; akin to D. storm, G. sturm, Icel. stormr; and perhaps to Gr. � assault, onset, Skr. s� to flow, to hasten, or perhaps to L. sternere to strew, prostrate (cf. Stratum). √166