Definition of fulminate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Express vehement protest.

    ‘all fulminated against the new curriculum’
    • ‘The monks opposed Abelard and convinced the Church to condemn him - twice - and the papacy periodically fulminated against the rationalist discourse carried out in [his university] classrooms.’
    • ‘His early, all-male Hamlet, complete with semi-naked gravediggers, had the newspapers, both tabloid and broadsheet, fulminating at his audacity.’
    • ‘So the Senate rule that liberals fulminated against for decades has become sacrosanct.’
    • ‘Sir Max had fulminated against the government's call to silence in a leader-page article in the Daily Mail.’
    • ‘Yet in 1969 I heard of a meeting at which a well-respected archaeologist fulminated against the use of colour in a publication on the grounds that ‘black and white was good enough for Rik Wheeler’.’
    • ‘From the columns of The Manchester Guardian Lawrence fulminated against the evils of his time; from the pages of The Skilled Labourer the couple thundered against the evils of the past.’
    • ‘For three days he fulminated against Howard in parliament, at the National Press Club and in a nationally broadcast television address.’
    • ‘She fulminated against this opinion for decades.’
    • ‘Both press and politicians fulminated against his influence - his nominees were regularly appointed to ministerial posts.’
    • ‘But resisting his blandishments, the German foreign minister began to fulminate for the cameras.’
    • ‘As environment minister, Michael Meacher fulminated that ‘housing is not, and should not be a status symbol, an object of conspicuous consumption or a source of market power and wealth.’’
    • ‘Building an ideological platform takes time, as conservatives learned, and it can't be done just by fulminating and denouncing.’
    • ‘Sheepishly, I picked myself up from the ground weakly, completely fulminating with rage at the laws of gravity.’
    • ‘I couldn't even think up of a word bad enough to insult her with, I was fulminating with so much rage.’
    • ‘Inevitably, some critics fulminated that boarding schools were turning our girls unfit to be wives and mothers.’
    • ‘So I am perplexed by the report in the paper where two Labour councillors are pictured collecting a petition against post office closures and are fulminating against this terrible action by the Labour Government.’
    • ‘According to reports, he was fulminating before a ‘small, but appreciative ‘crowd of well-to-do people in Amritsar.’’
    • ‘He was fulminating: ‘In the great scheme of things in Britain, if it's two or three thousand people losing their jobs, what does it matter?’’
    • ‘This explains why the party's chairman, Terry McAuliffe, is fulminating against any candidate who remains in the race without winning an early primary.’
    • ‘He fulminates against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, best known for forcing restaurants and bus stations in the Jim Crow South to integrate, and against Brown v. Board of Education.’
    protest, rail, rage, rant, thunder, storm, declaim, inveigh, speak out, make a stand, take a stand
    View synonyms
  • 2literary Explode violently or flash like lightning.

    ‘thunder fulminated around the house’
    explode, flash, crack, detonate, blow up, go off
    View synonyms
  • 3usually as adjective fulminatingMedicine
    (of a disease or symptom) develop suddenly and severely.

    ‘fulminating appendicitis’
    • ‘The course of the anemia ranges from mild with gradually developing symptoms to acute with fulminating symptoms.’
    • ‘The sudden, aggressive and fulminating impact of the carcinoma had rendered him incapable of continuing his responsibilities as father to his daughters.’
    • ‘In some cases, there may not be any symptoms, while in others it may produce mild to moderate dysentery or even fulminating dysentery with fever, severe abdominal cramps and rectal pain.’
    • ‘When serum creatinine levels begin to rise, considerable glomerular damage has already occurred, and noncognizance of the renal status when treating hypertension may lead to fulminating renal failure.’
    • ‘Its course was rapid and fulminating, and on the following Friday he died.’
    • ‘The postmortem revealed she had died of fulminating leptospirosis, and examination of the can confirmed it had been contaminated.’
    • ‘Six months is enough time for a fulminating infection to carry you off, or to develop an aggressive cancer that will do the same.’


  • A salt or ester of fulminic acid.

    ‘In the short span of years between 1807 and 1820, metallic fulminates proved an efficient method for igniting powder charges and developed into the familiar and practical percussion cap.’
    ‘It took the detonation from his mercury fulminate blasting cap to initiate the explosion.’


Late Middle English from Latin fulminat- ‘struck by lightning’, from fulmen, fulmin- ‘lightning’. The earliest sense (derived from medieval Latin fulminare) was ‘denounce formally’, later ‘issue formal censures’ (originally said of the Pope). A sense ‘emit thunder and lightning’, based on the original Latin meaning, arose in the early 17th century, and hence ‘explode violently’ (late 17th century).



/ˈfʊlmɪneɪt/ /ˈfʌlmɪneɪt/