Watch a bomb fulminate or explode and hope you're under safe cover. Have your parents fulminate or blow up at you for coming home past curfew and hope you're not grounded for too long.

The word fulminate is made up of the Latin root fulmen meaning "lightning flash." Look up at the sky during a violent thunderstorm and chances are you'll catch thunder and lightning fulminate or explode loudly and violently overhead. But you needn't look to the sky alone for this kind of intensity. If you find yourself in a room with passionate Republicans and Democrats debating, you might see them fulminate or severely rail against each other's beliefs.

Definitions of fulminate
  1. verb
    cause to explode violently and with loud noise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    blow up, detonate, explode, set off
    cause to burst with a violent release of energy
  2. verb
    come on suddenly and intensely
    “the disease fulminated
    see moresee less
    type of:
    appear, come along
    come into being or existence, or appear on the scene
  3. verb
    criticize severely
    “He fulminated against the Republicans' plan to cut Medicare”
    synonyms: rail
    see moresee less
    type of:
    speak out against
  4. noun
    a salt or ester of fulminic acid
    see moresee less
    fulminate of mercury, fulminating mercury, mercury fulminate
    a fulminate that when dry explodes violently if struck or heated; used in detonators and blasting caps and percussion caps
    type of:
    a compound formed by replacing hydrogen in an acid by a metal (or a radical that acts like a metal)
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week