Shakespeare's The Tempest begins with one –– a tempest, or a violent and windy storm.

The meaning of tempest has expanded over time to include the idea of anger or fighting. A "tempest in a tea pot" means a passionate fight over something that is in fact fairly trivial. For example, a passionate discussion about whether to use cloth or paper napkins at Thanksgiving could be considered a "tempest in a tea pot" to some.

Definitions of tempest

n a violent commotion or disturbance

“it was only a tempest in a teapot”
Type of:
commotion, disruption, disturbance, flutter, hoo-ha, hoo-hah, hurly burly, kerfuffle, to-do
a disorderly outburst or tumult

n a strong storm with violent winds

“a tempest swept over the island”
Type of:
a storm consisting of violent winds

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