Fulminant is any event or process which occurs suddenly, quickly and is intense and severe to the point of lethality, i.e, it has an explosive character. The word comes from Latin "fulmināre", to strike with lightning. It is most used in medicine, and there are several diseases which have this adjective:

* Fulminant liver failure
* Fulminant colitis
* Fulminant pre-eclampsia
* Fulminant meningitis
* Fulminant hepatic venous thrombosis (Budd-Chiari syndrome)

Some viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola, Lassa fever and Lábrea fever may kill in as short a time as 2 to 5 days. Diseases that cause rapidly-developing lung edema, such as some kinds of pneumonia, may kill in a few hours. For example, it was said of the black death (pneumonic bubonic plague) that some of its victims would die in a matter of hours after the initial symptoms appeared. Other pathologic conditions that may be fulminating in character are acute respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, acute anaphylaxis, septic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The most rapid deaths are those provoked by massive body trauma, such as in an explosion, smashing of the whole body, etc., and, of course, by being hit by lightning. Following this, localized acute trauma to the heart and to the brain (such as by putting a bullet through them), are also almost instantaneously lethal. "Commotio cordis" is a sudden cardiac arrest caused by a blunt, non-penetrating trauma to the precordium, which causes ventricular fibrillation of the heart, and it is often observed in young athletes in some sports. Then, cardiac arrest and stroke in certain parts of the brain, such as in the brainstem (which controls cardiovascular and respiratory system functions), and massive hemorrhage of the great arteries (such as in perforation of the walls by trauma or by sudden opening of an aneurysm of the aorta) may be very quick, death ensuing in less than one minute. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is still a mysterious cause of respiratory arrest in infants.

Some toxins, such as cyanide may also provoke fulminant death. Abrupt hyperkalemia provoked by intravenous injection of potassium chloride leads to fulminant death by cardiac arrest.

Other meanings

* To fulminate is to hurl verbal denunciations, severe criticisms, or menacing comments at someone, or to kill by lightning. Thus, the Greek god Zeus is commonly represented holding a bunch of lightning bolts in one of his hands, which he used to fulminate mortals he wanted to kill.
* Fulminates are a class of mercury-based explosives used in detonator caps, due to the startling suddenness with which they explode.

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  • fulminant — fulminant, ante [ fylminɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • XVe; de fulminer 1 ♦ Vx Qui lance la foudre. Jupiter fulminant. ♢ Mod. Qui éclate en menaces sous l empire de la colère. Un patron toujours fulminant. Qui est chargé de menaces, trahit une violente colère …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fulminant — fulminant, ante (ful mi nan, nan t ) adj. 1°   Qui lance la foudre. Jupiter fulminant. •   Ce serait ma réponse à ce dieu fulminant, BOILEAU Épît. I.    Légion fulminante, nom donné sous Marc Aurèle à une légion composée de chrétiens, et que l on …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • fulminant — FULMINÁNT, Ă, fulminanţi, te, adj. Care produce explozie; exploziv. ♦ fig. Ameninţător; violent; aţâţător, provocator. – Din fr. fulminant. Trimis de zaraza joe, 30.01.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  FULMINÁNT adj., s. v. exploziv. Trimis de siveco,… …   Dicționar Român

  • fulminant — Adj per. Wortschatz fremd. Erkennbar fremd (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. fulminant und l. fulmināns ( āntis) blitzend, Blitze schleudernd , zu l. fulmināre blitzen und donnern , zu l. fulmen ( minis) Blitz, Donnerkeil , zu l. fulgēre… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Fulminant — Ful mi*nant, a. [L. fulminans, p. pr. of fulminare to lighten: cf. F. fulminant.] Thundering; fulminating. [R.] Bailey. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fulminant — (adj.) c.1600, from Fr. fulminant or directly from L. fulminantem (nom. fulminans), prp. of fulminare (see FULMINATE (Cf. fulminate)). As a noun from 1808 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Fulminánt — (lat.), blitzend, donnernd; Fulmination, das Blitzen; das Wettern, Eisern; der päpstliche Bannstrahl; fulminieren, blitzen, wettern, heftig toben, zankend sich ereifern; den Bannstrahl schleudern; in der Chemie: explodieren …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Fulminánt — Fulminánt, s. Fulminieren …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • fulminant — »glänzend, prächtig«: Das seit dem 18. Jh. – anfangs nur in der Bed. »blitzend, drohend« – bezeugte Adjektiv ist aus lat. fulminans entlehnt, dem Part. Präs. von fulminare »blitzen«. Das zugrunde liegende Substantiv lat. fulmen »Blitz« ist mit… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • fulminant — [ful′mə nənt] adj. [L fulminans, prp.: see FULMINATE] 1. fulminating 2. Med. developing suddenly and severely, as a disease …   English World dictionary

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