TEM'PEST, n. [L. tempestas; tempus, time, season. The primary sense of tempus, time, is a falling, or that which falls, comes or happens, from some verb which signifies to fall or come suddenly, or rather to drive, to rush. Time is properly a coming, a season, that which presents itself, or is present. The sense of tempest, is from the sense of rushing or driving. See Temerity and Temerarious.

1. An extensive current of wind, rushing with great velocity and violence; a storm of extreme violence. We usually apply the word to a steady wind of long continuance; but we say also of a tornado, it blew a tempest. The currents of wind are named, according to their respective degrees of force or rapidity, a breeze, a gale, a storm, a tempest; but gale is also used as synonymous with storm, and storm with tempest. Gust is usually applied to a sudden blast of short duration. A tempest may or may not be attended with rain, snow or hail.

We, caught in a fiery tempest,shall be hurl'd

Each on his rock transfix'd--

2. A violent tumult or commotion; as a popular or political tempest; the tempest of war.

3. Perturbation; violent agitation; as a tempest of the


TEM'PEST, v.t. To disturb as by a tempest of the passions. [Little used.]