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noun, often attributive \ˈwind, archaic or poetic ˈwīnd\

Definition of wind

  1. 1 a :  a natural movement of air of any velocity; especially :  the earth's air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion horizontally b :  an artificially produced movement of air c :  solar wind, stellar wind

  2. 2 a :  a destructive force or influence b :  a force or agency that carries along or influences :  tendency, trend <withstood the winds of popular opinion — Felix Frankfurter>

  3. 3 a :  breath 4a b :  breath 2a c :  the pit of the stomach :  solar plexus

  4. 4 :  gas generated in the stomach or the intestines <pass wind>

  5. 5 a :  compressed air or gas b archaic :  air

  6. 6 :  something that is insubstantial: as a :  mere talk :  idle words b :  nothing, nothingness c :  vain self-satisfaction

  7. 7 a :  air carrying a scent (as of a hunter or game) b :  slight information especially about something secret :  intimation <got wind of the plan>

  8. 8 a :  musical wind instruments especially as distinguished from strings and percussion b plural :  players of wind instruments

  9. 9 a :  a direction from which the wind may blow :  a point of the compass; especially :  one of the cardinal points b :  the direction from which the wind is blowing

windless play \-ləs\ adjective
windlessly adverb
before the wind
  1. :  in the same direction as the main force of the wind

close to the wind
  1. :  as nearly as possible against the main force of the wind

have the wind of
  1. 1 :  to be to windward of

  2. 2 :  to be on the scent of

  3. 3 :  to have a superior position to

in the wind
  1. :  about to happen :  astir, afoot <change is in the wind>

near the wind
  1. 1 :  close to the wind

  2. 2 :  close to a point of danger :  near the permissible limit

off the wind
  1. :  away from the direction from which the wind is blowing

on the wind
  1. :  toward the direction from which the wind is blowing

to the wind or to the winds
  1. :  aside, away <threw caution to the wind>

under the wind
  1. 1 :  to leeward

  2. 2 :  in a place protected from the wind :  under the lee

Origin of wind

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wint wind, Latin ventus, Greek aēnai to blow, Sanskrit vāti it blows

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

Rhymes with wind



verb \ˈwind\

Definition of wind

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to detect or follow by scent

  3. 2 :  to expose to the air or wind :  dry by exposing to air

  4. 3 :  to make short of breath

  5. 4 :  to regulate the wind supply of (an organ pipe)

  6. 5 :  to rest (as a horse) in order to allow the breath to be recovered

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to scent game

  9. 2 dial :  to pause for breath

15th Century

First Known Use of wind

15th century



verb, \ˈwīnd, ˈwind\

Definition of wind

winded play \ˈwīn-dəd, ˈwin-\ or wound play \ˈwau̇nd\ winding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause (as a horn) to sound by blowing :  blow

  3. 2 :  to sound (as a call or note) on a horn <wound a rousing call — R. L. Stevenson>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to produce a sound on a horn

Origin of wind


First Known Use: 1586



verb, \ˈwīnd\

Definition of wind

wound play \ˈwau̇nd\ also windedwinding

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a obsolete :  weave b :  entangle, involve c :  to introduce sinuously or stealthily :  insinuate

  3. 2 a :  to encircle or cover with something pliable :  bind with loops or layers b :  to turn completely or repeatedly about an object :  coil, twine c (1) :  to hoist or haul by means of a rope or chain and a windlass (2) :  to move (a ship) by hauling on a capstan d (1) :  to tighten the spring of <wind a clock> (2) obsolete :  to make tighter :  tighten, tune (3) :  crank e :  to raise to a high level (as of excitement or tension) —usually used with up

  4. 3 a :  to cause to move in a curving line or path b archaic :  to turn the course of; especially :  to lead (a person) as one wishes c (1) :  to cause (as a ship) to change direction :  turn (2) :  to turn (a ship) end for end d :  to traverse on a curving course <the river winds the valley> e :  to effect by or as if by curving

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  bend, warp

  7. 2 a :  to have a curving course or shape :  extend in curves b :  to proceed as if by winding

  8. 3 :  to move so as to encircle something

  9. 4 :  to turn when lying at anchor

Origin of wind

Middle English, from Old English windan to twist, move with speed or force, brandish; akin to Old High German wintan to wind, Umbrian ohavendu let him turn aside

First Known Use: before 12th century



noun \ˈwīnd\

Definition of wind

  1. 1 :  a mechanism (as a winch) for winding

  2. 2 :  an act of winding :  the state of being wound

  3. 3 :  coil, turn

  4. 4 :  a particular method of winding

14th Century

First Known Use of wind

14th century


geographical name \ˈwind\

Definition of Wind

  1. river W cen Wyoming, the upper course of Bighorn River

WIND Defined for Kids



noun \ˈwind\

Definition of wind for Students

  1. 1 :  a natural movement of the air <northerly winds>

  2. 2 :  power to breathe <Falling down knocked the wind out of me.>

  3. 3 :  limited knowledge especially about something secret <They got wind of our plans.>

  4. 4 winds plural :  wind instruments of a band or orchestra




Definition of wind for Students


  1. :  to cause to be out of breath <Climbing the long flight of stairs winded him.>



verb \ˈwīnd\

Definition of wind for Students

wound \ˈwau̇nd\winding

  1. 1 :  to move in or be made up of a series of twists and turns <The trail winds through the trees.>

  2. 2 :  to twist around <The machine winds thread on a spool.>

  3. 3 :  to cover with something twisted around :  wrap <Wind your arm with a bandage.>

  4. 4 :  to make the spring of tight <I wound my watch.>

wind up
  1. 1 :  to bring to an end :  conclude <Let's wind up the meeting.>

  2. 2 :  to reach a place or situation that was not expected <How did we wind up back here?>

  3. 3 :  to swing the arm before pitching a baseball

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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