bliz·​zard | \ ˈbli-zərd How to pronounce blizzard (audio) \

Definition of blizzard

1 : a long severe snowstorm
2 : an intensely strong cold wind filled with fine snow
3 : an overwhelming rush or deluge a blizzard of mail around the holidays

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Other Words from blizzard

blizzardy \ ˈbli-​zər-​dē How to pronounce blizzard (audio) \ or less commonly blizzardly \ ˈbli-​ˌzərd-​lē How to pronounce blizzard (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

The earliest recorded appearance of the word blizzard meaning “a severe snowstorm” was in the April 23, 1870 issue of a newspaper published in Estherville, Iowa. Blizzard shows up again during the following years in several newspapers in Iowa and neighboring states, and by 1888, when a snowstorm paralyzed the Eastern seaboard, the word was well-known nationally. However, in other senses, the word blizzard existed earlier. Davy Crockett, for instance, used it twice in the 1830s, once to mean a rifle blast and once to mean for a blast of words. All of these uses seem related, but the ultimate origin of the word is still unclear.

Examples of blizzard in a Sentence

We were snowed in by a raging blizzard.
Recent Examples on the Web But drivers argue that there is a major difference between a blizzard — a transient hardship — and a 16-month pandemic., 29 May 2021 This allows for her family to adapt to any situation, whether a major blizzard or a devastating virus, more easily. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2021 The weekend blizzard — which came with winds of at least 35 mph — was the fourth-largest ever recorded in Denver, the Denver Post reported, and the most snow the city has seen since March 2003. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 15 Mar. 2021 The 'Northern Vindicator' of Estherville, Iowa becomes the first newspaper to use the term 'blizzard' on this date. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, 13 Mar. 2021 Something had happened that induced the skiers to cut their way out of the tent and flee into the night, into a howling blizzard, in twenty-below-zero temperatures, in bare feet or socks. Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021 The legislative session, extended two days because of a blizzard that shut down the Capitol in March, ended with one of the session’s major items still on the table. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 Apr. 2021 A couple of years later, there was a big blizzard in our town. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 12 Apr. 2021 Months later, hikers found the remains of her grandfather, Giichi, who died during a blizzard on a remote mountain near Manzanar in 1945. Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blizzard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of blizzard

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blizzard

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for blizzard

Time Traveler

The first known use of blizzard was in 1870

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Statistics for blizzard

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blizzard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for blizzard



English Language Learners Definition of blizzard

: a severe snowstorm that goes on for a long time
: a large amount of something that comes suddenly


bliz·​zard | \ ˈbli-zərd How to pronounce blizzard (audio) \

Kids Definition of blizzard

: a long heavy snowstorm


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