What does tempest mean?

Definitions for tempest
ˈtɛm pɪsttem·pest

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tempest.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. storm, tempestnoun

    a violent commotion or disturbance

    "the storms that had characterized their relationship had died away"; "it was only a tempest in a teapot"

  2. tempestnoun

    (literary) a violent wind

    "a tempest swept over the island"


  1. tempestnoun

    A storm, especially one with severe winds.

  2. tempestnoun

    Any violent tumult or commotion.

  3. tempestverb

    To storm.

  4. tempestverb

    To disturb, as by a tempest.

  5. Etymology: From tempeste (French: tempête), from tempestas, storm, from tempus, time, weather

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. TEMPESTnoun

    Etymology: tempeste, Fr. tempestas, Lat.

    I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
    Have riv’d the knotty oaks. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    Some have been driven by tempest to the south. George Abbot.

    What at first was call’d a gust, the same
    Hath now a storm’s, anon a tempest ’s name. John Donne.

    We, caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurl’d
    Each on his rock transfix’d. John Milton.

    With clouds and storms
    Around thee thrown, tempest o’er tempest roll’d,
    Thou humblest nature with thy northern blast. James Thomson.

    The tempest in my mind
    Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
    Save what beats there. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

  2. To Tempestverb

    To disturb as by a tempest.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Part huge of bulk,
    Wallowing unweildy, enormous in their gait,
    Tempest the ocean. John Milton.

    Leviathan, in dreadful sport,
    Tempest the loosen’d brine. James Thomson.



    TEMPEST is a U.S. National Security Agency specification and a NATO certification referring to spying on information systems through leaking emanations, including unintentional radio or electrical signals, sounds, and vibrations. TEMPEST covers both methods to spy upon others and how to shield equipment against such spying. The protection efforts are also known as emission security (EMSEC), which is a subset of communications security (COMSEC).The NSA methods for spying on computer emissions are classified, but some of the protection standards have been released by either the NSA or the Department of Defense. Protecting equipment from spying is done with distance, shielding, filtering, and masking. The TEMPEST standards mandate elements such as equipment distance from walls, amount of shielding in buildings and equipment, and distance separating wires carrying classified vs. unclassified materials, filters on cables, and even distance and shielding between wires or equipment and building pipes. Noise can also protect information by masking the actual data. While much of TEMPEST is about leaking electromagnetic emanations, it also encompasses sounds and mechanical vibrations. For example, it is possible to log a user's keystrokes using the motion sensor inside smartphones. Compromising emissions are defined as unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed (side-channel attack), may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any information-processing equipment.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tempestnoun

    an extensive current of wind, rushing with great velocity and violence, and commonly attended with rain, hail, or snow; a furious storm

  2. Tempestnoun

    fig.: Any violent tumult or commotion; as, a political tempest; a tempest of war, or of the passions

  3. Tempestnoun

    a fashionable assembly; a drum. See the Note under Drum, n., 4

  4. Tempestverb

    to disturb as by a tempest

  5. Tempestverb

    to storm


  1. Tempest

    Tempest is a codename referring to investigations and studies of compromising emanations. Compromising emanations are defined as unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed, may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any information-processing equipment. Compromising emanations consist of electrical, mechanical, or acoustical energy intentionally or by mishap unintentionally emitted by any number of sources within equipment/systems which process national security information. This energy may relate to the original pre- or non-encrypted message, or information being processed, in such a way that it can lead to recovery of the plaintext. Laboratory and field tests have established that such CE can be propagated through space and along nearby conductors. The interception/propagation ranges and analysis of such emanations are affected by a variety of factors, e.g., the functional design of the information processing equipment; system/equipment installation; and, environmental conditions related to physical security and ambient noise. The term "compromising emanations" rather than "radiation" is used because the compromising signals can, and do, exist in several forms such as magnetic- and/or electric field radiation, line conduction, or acoustic emissions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tempest

    tem′pest, n. wind rushing with great velocity, usually with rain or snow: a violent storm: any violent commotion.—adjs. Tem′pest-beat′en; Tem′pest-tost (Shak.), driven about by storms; Tempes′tūous, resembling, or pertaining to, a tempest: very stormy: turbulent.—adv. Tempes′tūously.—n. Tempes′tūousness.—Tempest in a tea-pot, a great disturbance over a trivial matter. [O. Fr. tempeste—L. tempestas, a season, tempest—tempus, time.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. tempest

    An unclassified term referring to technical investigations for compromising emanations from electrically operated information processing equipment; these

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. tempest

    A word not much used by seamen. It is, however, synonymous with storm, gales, &c. (See STORMS.)

Suggested Resources

  1. tempest

    Song lyrics by tempest -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by tempest on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tempest is ranked #37229 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Tempest surname appeared 599 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Tempest.

    94.6% or 567 total occurrences were White.
    1.8% or 11 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.6% or 10 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 5 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce tempest?

How to say tempest in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tempest in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tempest in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of tempest in a Sentence

  1. Bill Barr:

    This was a normal application of the law. The law is clear. It is done frequently. And the little tempest that's going on is largely because of the bizarre political environment in which we live.

  2. Douglas Hengel:

    I think it's a tempest in a teacup kind of issue, i don't think the member states will want to change.

  3. Alan Patricof:

    I don't perceive any concern among the donor community who recognize that this is just one of many issues that gets blown out of proportion when it relates to a Clinton, this will all pass when it is realized it is just a tempest in a teapot.

  4. Trieu Thi Trinh:

    My wish is to ride the tempest, tame the waves, kill the sharks. I will not resign myself...

  5. Kenneth Gross:

    I don't remember seeing this, but it sounds like a tempest in a teapot because all of the activity was disclosed.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tempest

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"tempest." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tempest>.

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    an utterance expressing pain or disapproval
    • A. aggravate
    • B. moan
    • C. carry
    • D. conform

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