bliz·​zard ˈbli-zərd How to pronounce blizzard (audio)
: a long severe snowstorm
: an intensely strong cold wind filled with fine snow
: an overwhelming rush or deluge
a blizzard of mail around the holidays
blizzardy adjective
or less commonly blizzardly

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 The blizzard, which began Feb. 24, entombed the San Bernardino County mountain communities, keeping Perez, 61, from reaching his thrice-weekly kidney dialysis appointment at a Yucca Valley facility. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 Chances for big snowstorms along the East Coast Some of the East Coast’s most memorable and crushing snowstorms in recent history have occurred during El Niño conditions, including back-to-back blizzards in February 2010 and a single blockbuster storm in January 2016. Scott Dance, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2023 Here, they’ve ostensibly been given a platform through which to reclaim their images and ruminate on the blizzard of cultural forces that drove them to the top. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2023 Question: That was a real nightmare of a blizzard, wasn't it? Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 23 Aug. 2023 Inside these blizzards, dust particles whip along at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 In May 2021 came the blizzard of deals: Exclusive live games went to current partners NBCUniversal, Disney/ESPN, Paramount, Fox and, in a first for a tech company, Amazon. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2023 Still, every El Niño winter is different; some produce very little snow, others bring blizzards. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 August fog means a snowy winter, and low beehives portend a blizzard. Corey Buhay, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blizzard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of blizzard was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near blizzard

Cite this Entry

“Blizzard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


bliz·​zard ˈbliz-ərd How to pronounce blizzard (audio)
: a long heavy snowstorm
: a very strong cold wind filled with fine snow
: an overwhelming rush or deluge
a blizzard of mail
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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