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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n torrent a violently fast stream of water (or other liquid) "the houses were swept away in the torrent"
    • n torrent a heavy rain
    • n torrent an overwhelming number or amount "a flood of requests","a torrent of abuse"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
    • Torrent A violent stream, as of water, lava, or the like; a stream suddenly raised and running rapidly, as down a precipice. "The roaring torrent is deep and wide."
    • Torrent Fig.: A violent or rapid flow; a strong current; a flood; as, a torrent of vices; a torrent of eloquence. "At length, Erasmus, that great injured name, . . .
      Stemmed the wild torrent of a barbarous age."
    • a Torrent Rolling or rushing in a rapid stream. "Waves of torrent fire."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • torrent Rushing in a stream.
    • n torrent A rushing stream, as of water or lava; a stream flowing rapidly and with violence, as down the side of a hill or over a precipice.
    • n torrent Figuratively, a violent or overwhelming flow; a flood: as, a torrent of abusive words.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Torrent tor′ent a rushing stream: a strong or turbulent current
    • adj Torrent rushing in a stream
    • ***


  • Jose Ortega Y Gasset
    “In order to master the unruly torrent of life the learned man meditates, the poet quivers, and the political hero erects the fortress of his will.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. L. torrens, -entis, fr. torrens, burning, roaring, boiling, p. pr. of torrere, to dry by heat, to burn. See Torrid


In literature:

How like a torrent thought rushes on, in swift review, of his wonderful and glorious career.
"Aunt Phillis's Cabin" by Mary H. Eastman
The roads extremely bad from the torrents of rain that fell.
"The History of Sumatra" by William Marsden
Somewhere a torrent was roaring like a miniature Niagara.
"Jacqueline of Golden River" by H. M. Egbert
There is a very large and handsome bridge, of seven arches, over the torrent of Sangone.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
His contemptuous silence was more galling to the irritated applicant than the loudest torrent of abuse.
"Mark Hurdlestone" by Susanna Moodie
Then the floodgates of his pent-up emotion opened and forth poured a torrent of anger, disappointment, and outraged pride.
"The House of the Misty Star" by Fannie Caldwell Macaulay
I have fought torrents, and floods, and hurricanes, and myself.
"Parrot & Co." by Harold MacGrath
The blow was stunning, and, when I recovered my senses, I perceived that a torrent of blood was gushing from my nostrils.
"Arthur Mervyn" by Charles Brockden Brown
Not a gem can repose safe from seizure, in the rocks, in the sand, or in the torrent.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, Issue 2, February, 1864" by Various
This morning the fine weather we had hitherto enjoyed began to fail us, as it rained in torrents.
"First Impressions of the New World" by Isabella Strange Trotter
They were passing now over a high trestle bridge above a foaming torrent.
"Swirling Waters" by Max Rittenberg
Hans halted at the precise spot where the sound of the torrent appeared nearest.
"A Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne
At half-time Buller poured forth a superb torrent of rhetoric.
"The Loom of Youth" by Alec Waugh
The Italian custom-house is romantically perched above the torrent.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
Here was located a mountain torrent, said to be filled with the gamiest kind of specimens of the finny tribe.
"Dave Porter at Star Ranch" by Edward Stratemeyer
As in all such storms, the rain came down in a torrent, hiding the town from view in a blinding downpour.
"On the Spanish Main" by John Masefield
We were surprised at such torrents of water rushing into the Jordan at such a season of the year.
"Byeways in Palestine" by James Finn
It fell in torrents, and the roof over me was so leaky that I might as well have been out in the open.
"In the Forbidden Land" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
The sound of water is in my ears: a torrent rushes by, near me.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Already the rising waters touched the flimsy wooden structure that spanned the torrent.
"Under the Rose" by Frederic Stewart Isham

In poetry:

And now he kens some castle gray
Wild turrets ivied, in the moon,
Old, where through woodlands foaming on
A torrent shone....
"A Mabinogi" by Madison Julius Cawein
And wept he for the blood that flow'd
In torrents from his side;
Or thought he of death's dreary road,
Or of a distant bride?
"The Soldier's Brother--A Ballad" by Peter John Allan
The white mists rolling like a sea!
I hear the torrents roar.
--Yes, Obermann, all speaks of thee;
I feel thee near once more.
"Stanzas In Memory Of The Author Of 'Obermann'" by Matthew Arnold
Into the past we did not look;
Beyond what was we did not dream;
While onward rushed the thunderous stream
Of war, that, in its torrent, took
One of our own. No crimson gleam
Of its wild course around us shook.
"The Brothers" by Madison Julius Cawein
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
"The Pillar of the Cloud" by John Henry Newman
So long thy power hath blessed me, sure it still
Will lead me on;
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.
"Lead, Kindly Light" by John Henry Newman

In news:

Turcotte's case has provoked a torrent of outrage in Quebec.
Oregon's upset bid at UCLA drowned in a torrent of turnovers tonight, as the Ducks committed eight straight turnovers during a late 14-0 run that helped the Bruins to a 63-59 win in Pauley Pavilion.
The modern tactical knife era that began in the early 1990s unleashed a torrent of new designs ideas and technology, and no company has ridden the tsunami better than Columbia River Knife & Tool.
The roof at the rear of this photo kept two brothers afloat on the storm 's torrent and ultimately saved their lives.
YouTube explaining that the thing causing the torrent of tears flowing from her big blue eyes is that she is tired of "Bronco Bamma and Nitt Romney" put this election into perspective for me.
While the rest of us are still trying to figure out what to make of the star-studded, Jon Favreau-directed torrent of amazing concepts that is the upcoming feature film Cowboys & Aliens, Gameloft is making some plans.
Torrents of spam washed daily through the city's e-mail server.
Recent news and coverage of Torrent .
2007 Pontiac Torrent Exterior Photos.
If you are looking for the best high quality photos of the new 2006 Pontiac Torrent .
If you're looking for information on the used '09 Pontiac Torrent model, our buyer's guide has the data you're looking for.
Select a trim to read preowned 2009 Torrent reviews, fuel economy, towing capacity, pictures, and more.
Life Technologies Ion Torrent Ion Proton System.
The Speediest DNA Sequencer Courtesy Ion Torrent .
We got a lot of comments after yesterday's piece on torrenting.

In science:

Torrente-Lujan, “Muon anomalous magnetic moment in supersymmetric scenarios with an intermediate scale and nonuniversality,” Phys.
The Muon Magnetic Moment and Supersymmetry
This incited theorists to a torrent of guessworks about the protons spin, which is the source of its magnetic moment and associated g-factor.
The proton gyromagnetic g-factor: an electromagnetic model
The study of explosions in the Local Universe is thus critical for two reasons: (1) sifting through the torrent of false positives (because the expected rates of sources of interest is a tiny fraction of the known transients) and (2) improving the localization via low energy observations (which usually means optical).
Cosmic Explosions (Optical Transients)
And let us not forget the torrent of new information about the top quark that the next run of the Tevatron Collider will bring .
Perspectives on Heavy Quark 98