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 (fo͞o-droi′ənt, fo͞o′drwä-yäN′)
1. Dazzling or stunning in effect.
2. Medicine Occurring suddenly and severely. Used of a disease.

[French, from present participle of foudroyer, to strike with lightning, from foudre, lightning, from Old French fouldre, from Latin fulgur, from fulgēre, to flash; see bhel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Pathology) (of a disease) occurring suddenly and with great severity
2. rare stunning, dazzling, or overwhelming
[C19: from French, from foudroyer to strike with lightning, from Old French foudre lightning, from Latin fulgur]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Perchee sur l'epave des murs emportee par le debit foudroyant du torrent, une vingtaine de personnes, isolee dans l'impetuosite des eaux fluviales, vociferait a la rescousse, sous les yeux impuissants de leurs parents desempares sur les rives.
452 Italy invaded by Attila the Hun 1779 Admiral Horatio Nelson and Captain Thomas Hardy on HMS Foudroyant set sail against Spanish fleet.
It was subsequently captured by Nelson's flag captain Sir Edward Berry, on board the HMS Foudroyant and despatched immediately as a gift to the City of Norwich.
Wildly eccentric, he was lean, intense and weathered with mesmerising eyes and a foudroyant manner.
Le retour du boomerang fut neanmoins foudroyant. Tel est pris qui croyait prendre, les pays occidentaux affrontent desormais le probleme de la migration dont les cotes libyennes sont devenues un point de depart.
It had a change of name to Foudroyant, a French term for thunder and lightning, on becoming a training ship from 1900 until the mid-1980s but reverted to its original name in Hartlepool to mark its restoration.
If a disease has happened 'foudroyant', what has occurred?
Anne-Marie Pons compare la terreur suscitee par les morts avec la terreur suscitee par la femme : << les morts et les femmes, objets tabou, sont pereus comme des reservoirs de forces redoutables dont le contact peut etre foudroyant et qu'il faut donc a tout prix eviter >>.