To issue a thunderous verbal attack against someone or something, to denunciate; to explode; to cause an explosion.


In the early 1500’s, the verb ‘to fulminate’ was specifically used for the publication of thundering denunciations. This word stems from the Latin fluminatus or fulminare, and doesn’t resemble the word flame accidently as it meant to lighten, or, hurl lightning. This root is also related to fulgere, maning to shine or to flash.

A much earlier origin to this verb is the Proto-Indo-European origin, the bhel root, which also meant to shine, flash or burn. It is interesting to note that this root generated the English word bleach (through Germanic bleich, meaning pale), baring a meaning completely different to the word that took the Latin path:

(A personal interest’s side note; forgive me those of you who did not find it interesting!)

Why this word?

I find this to be a beautiful synonym; for its political/governmental past, fulminating is not merely being expressively angry or upset, but it automatically gives our anger’s cause a much heftier sense.

How to use fulminate?    

Although hereby described as a verb, once again- it is much more than a verb. Fulminate can be used as a transitive verb (incomplete without a direct object), as an intransitive verb (complete without a direct object), a noun and an adjective!

Transitive: In her speech, Dana fulminated against corruption

Intransitive: Wow! I can’t believe you were not there to see how Dana          fulminated!

Noun: Yesterday’s even was one long fulmination, I’m sorry I even went there…

Adjective: You should beware of Dana, she is a fulminating person! Or: Dana is very calm, a non-fulminating kind of a woman.  


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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