June 19, 2016
tempestuous (adjective)
\tem-PESS-chuh-wus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: violent, stormy
How do you use it?
In Shakespeare's _King Lear_, the doomed king is a tempestuous character who makes rash decisions and refuses to change his mind.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the following do you think is the meaning of the Latin root that gave us "tempestuous"?

We hope you had time to answer today's question! Latin "tempus" -- meaning "time" -- is at the root of "tempestuous." Here's the story on "tempestuous." "Tempus" was used to form the Old Latin "tempestus," meaning "season, weather, storm." In Late Latin, that word became "tempestuosus," which speakers of Middle English adopted in the 1400s as "tempestuous." It was first used as a word to describe an actual storm. "Tempestuous" was very quickly also used figuratively to describe things other than storms such as a passionate person and stormy behavior.
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