Word of the day: Trombe

Word of the day: Trombe
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This expression will come in handy this week with bad weather forecast in much of the country.

Why do I need to know trombe?

Because it’s a useful when talking about the weather, but also has various other meanings.

What does it mean?

Trombe literally means waterspout: a rotating column of water formed by a whirlwind over the sea. 

However it’s also an expression for bad weather. Il pleut en trombe means it’s pouring down with rain. Here are a few other common expressions the French use to talk about the weather. 

And when used with the verb démarrer (to take off), en trombe means at great speed, to take off ‘like a shot’ or ‘at full throttle’. It also means ‘to kick start’ something.

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See also on The Local:

Use it like this

D’un coup, il s’est mis a tomber des trombes d’eau – Suddenly, it was chucking it down with rain

S’il atteint le sol, c’est une tornade et s’il touche l’eau, c’est une trombe marine – If it reaches the ground, it’s a tornado and if it touches water, it’s a waterspout.

Les personnes âgées qui traversent la rue ne veulent pas se faire frapper par une voiture qui arrive en trombe. – Older people crossing the street don’t want to get hit by car going at full speed

Je dois démarrer en trombe – I have to hit the ground running


Il pleut des cordes – It’s pouring with rain

Partir comme une flèche – To set off like a shot

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