I know that "Gewitter" means "Thunderstorm" and "Ungewitter" means "Violent storm", Could we say that Gewitter is a strom that have thunderbolt but Ungewitter may have thunderbolt?

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    I'm German and I had to google "Ungewitter". I've never heard it before....
    – Iris
    Aug 5, 2016 at 7:56
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    Gewitter does not imply a storm at at all, merely thunder and bolts. Un(ge)witter would be a lot of wind and rain or snow, but not nessecairly any thunder
    – Beta
    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:02
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    @Beta I think the other term would be Unwetter which refers to really bad wheather, including wind/storm, heavy rain, perhaps hail, thunder while Gewitter is only thunder and bolts.
    – PerlDuck
    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:10
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    @Beta Exactly, you are right. I just wanted to stress on UnwEtter vs. Un(ge)wItter (e vs. i). Like Iris, I've never heard Ungewitter before.
    – PerlDuck
    Aug 5, 2016 at 8:25
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    And dict.cc indicates that "Ungewitter" = violent storm [mostly with heavy rains]. And that "Ungewitter" is an obsolete [veraltet] term. Aug 5, 2016 at 11:47

3 Answers 3


Well "Gewitter" is something where you have thunder and lightnings, so it would be a thunderstorm in English. But a "Ungewitter" is an other form from "Unwetter" which could also be a thunderstorm, but more likely just bad weather with heavy winds and rain.

So a "Gewitter" is always a "Unwetter", but a "Unwetter" not always a "Gewitter".

But while speaking German "Ungewitter" is not that common, we mostly use "Unwetter" or just say there will be bad weather ("schlechtes Wetter").

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    Stimmt! Willkommen. Und als Muttersprachler habe ich "Ungewitter" noch nie gehört!
    – Ludi
    Aug 5, 2016 at 13:47
  • Ist aber ein deutsches Wort, so komisches es auch klingen mag.
    – Anetair
    Aug 5, 2016 at 13:48
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    Taking a look at Ngram, it seems the word is pretty old and not used much nowadays. [also as an image, for the benefit of mobile users]
    – randers
    Aug 5, 2016 at 15:16

"Ungewitter" is a word for "Gewitter", not used anymore (I never heard it before. Duden and several other dictionaries say it's an old german term). Usually we speak of a Gewitter or Unwetter.

Duden defines "Unwetter" as follows [translated from german]: "Very bad, stormy weather, usualy with heavy rain [and thunderstorm]. Its intensity causes damages."

While "Gewitter" is defined like this: "Storm ((in original it says even "Unwetter")) with lighting, thunder [and rain or similar]"

A Gewitter is a thunderstorm and Unwetter is a bad, stormy, weather condition in general, with or without Gewitter.


Just google "Ungewitter": 389.000 hits. A frequent name, not a »Wetter«. But "Unwetter": nearly 10 million hits. 

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