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spindrift

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noun spin·drift \ˈspin-ˌdrift\

Definition of spindrift

  1. 1 :  sea spray; especially :  spray blown from waves during a gale

  2. 2 :  fine wind-borne snow or sand



Did You Know?

Spindrift first set sail in the mid-18th century under Scottish command. During its first voyage, it was known by the Scottish moniker "speendrift." Speen meant "to drive before a strong wind," so a "speendrift" was a drift of spray during such action. In 1823, English speakers recruited the word, but signed it up as "spindrift." At that time, its sole duty was to describe the driving sprays at sea. However, English speakers soon realized that "spindrift" had potential to serve on land as well, and the word was sent ashore to describe driving snow and sand. Today, "spindrift" still serves us commendably at sea and on land.

Origin of spindrift

alteration of Scots speendrift, from speen to drive before a strong wind + English drift


First Known Use: 1823


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