noun \män-ˈsün, ˈmän-ˌ\

: a wind in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia that brings heavy rains in the summer

: the rainy season that occurs in southern Asia in the summer

: the rain that falls during this season

Full Definition of MONSOON

:  a periodic wind especially in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia
:  the season of the southwest monsoon in India and adjacent areas that is characterized by very heavy rainfall
:  rainfall that is associated with the monsoon
mon·soon·al \-ˈsü-nəl, -ˌsü-\ adjective

Examples of MONSOON

  1. floods caused by summer monsoons

Origin of MONSOON

obsolete Dutch monssoen, from Portuguese monção, from Arabic mawsim time, season
First Known Use: 1584

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

occlusion, ozone, rime, squall, zephyr


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction (e.g., one that blows for six months from the northeast and six months from the southwest). The most prominent examples occur in Africa and southern Asia. The primary cause of monsoons is the difference between annual temperature trends over land and sea. Seasonal changes in temperature are large over land but small over oceans. A monsoon blows from cold toward warm regions: from sea toward land in summer and from land toward sea in winter. Most summer monsoons produce copious amounts of rain; winter monsoons tend to cause drought.


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