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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Thunder


THUN'DER, noun [Latin tonitru, from tono, to sound.]

1. The sound which follows an explosion of electricity or lightning; the report of a discharge of electrical fluid, that is, of its passage from one cloud to another, or from a cloud to the earth, or from the earth to a cloud. When this explosion is near to a person, the thunder is a rattling or clattering sound, and when distant, the sound is heavy and rumbling. The fact is in some degree the same with the report of a cannon. This sharpness or acuteness of the sound when near, and the rumbling murmur when distant, are the principal distinctions in thunder [Thunder is not lightning, but the effect of it. See Johnson's Dictionary, under thunder ]

There were thunders and lightnings. Exodus 19:16.

2. thunder is used for lightning, or for a thunderbolt, either originally through ignorance, or by way of metaphor, or because the lightning and thunder are closely united.

The revenging gods

'Gainst parricides all the thunder bend.

3. Any loud noise; as the thunder of cannon.

Sons of thunder Mark 3:17.

4. Denunciation published; as the thunders of the Vatican.

THUN'DER, verb intransitive To sound, rattle or roar, as an explosion of electricity.

Canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Job 40:9.

1. To make a loud noise, particularly a heavy sound of some continuance.

His dreadful voice no more

Would thunder in my ears.

2. To rattle, or give a heavy rattling sound.

And roll the thund'ring chariot o'er the ground.

THUN'DER, verb transitive To emit with noise and terror.

Oracles severe

Were daily thunder'd in our gen'ral's ear.

1. To publish any denunciation or threat.

An archdeacon, as being a prelate, may thunder out an ecclesiastical censure.