Meaning of “thunder” in the English Dictionary

"thunder" in British English

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uk /ˈθʌn.dər/ us /ˈθʌn.dɚ/

B1 [ U ] the sudden loud noise that comes from the sky especially during a storm:

a clap of thunder
thunder and lightning

[ S ] a continuous loud noise:

I couldn't hear what he was saying over the thunder of the waterfall.

More examples

  • There was a clap of thunder and then it started to pour with rain.
  • The lightning flashed and distant thunder rolled.
  • A loud peal of thunder woke him from restless sleep.
  • A loud clap of thunder made the herd stampede.
  • A loud crash of thunder broke the silence of the night.


uk /ˈθʌn.dər/ us /ˈθʌn.dɚ/
noun [ U ] uk /ˈθʌn.dər.ɪŋ/ us /ˈθʌn.dɚ.ɪŋ/

We could hear the thundering (= continuous loud noise) of the guns all night.

(Definition of “thunder” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"thunder" in American English

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thundernoun [ U ]

us /ˈθʌn·dər/

the sudden, loud noise that comes after a flash of lightning:

a clap of thunder

thunderverb [ I ]

us /ˈθʌn·dər/

to produce thunder after a flash of lightning:

The sky grew dark and it started to thunder.
The horses thundered past (= moved making a lot of noise), shaking the house.

(Definition of “thunder” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)