What is thunder?

  • (verb): Utter words loudly and forcefully.
    Synonyms: roar
    See also — Additional definitions below


Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. Depending on the nature of the lightning and distance of the listener, thunder can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble (brontide). The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning. In turn, this expansion of air creates a sonic shock wave, similar to a sonic boom, which produces the sound of thunder, often referred to as a clap, crack, or peal of thunder. The distance of the lightning can be calculated by the listener based on the time interval from when the lightning is seen to when the sound is heard.

Read more about Thunder.

More definitions of "thunder":

  • (verb): To make or produce a loud noise.
    Example: "The river thundered below"; "The engine roared as the driver pushed the car to full throttle"
  • (verb): Move fast, noisily, and heavily.
    Example: "The bus thundered down the road"
  • (verb): Be the case that thunder is being heard.
    Synonyms: boom
  • (noun): A booming or crashing noise caused by air expanding along the path of a bolt of lightning.

Famous quotes containing the word thunder:

    Here’s neither bush nor shrub to bear off any weather at all. And another storm brewing, I hear it sing i’ the wind. Yond same black cloud, yond huge one, looks like a foul bombard that would shed his liquor. If it should thunder as it did before, I know not where to hide my head. Yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    There is not even silence in the mountains
    But dry sterile thunder without rain
    There is not even solitude in the mountains
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)

    You will trail across the rocks
    and wash them with your salt,
    you will curl between sand-hills
    you will thunder along the cliff
    break retreat get fresh strength
    gather and pour weight upon the beach.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)