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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).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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