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Arising from tempestas (Latin), the original meaning of the word is sustained in its literal meaning of stormy, blustery and squally weather.

Its figurative meaning evolved in Late Latin from tempestuosus and from there to mean turbulent, explosive, violent, frenzied, feverish and even hysterical actions, activities and behaviours in individuals and by groups.

This is how we use tempestuous figuratively to describe the behaviour and actions of people who are wildly unpredictable and out of control.

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