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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from blizzard

blizzardy \ ˈbli-​zər-​dē How to pronounce blizzardy (audio) \ or less commonly blizzardly \ ˈbli-​ˌzərd-​lē How to pronounce blizzardly (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 the blizzard of ads, get-out-the-vote operations, and skilled campaign staff that only money can buy can make a crucial difference. William Falk, TheWeek, "All the free speech money can buy," 17 Jan. 2020 The television series demands that the viewer quickly learn about a blizzard of characters, place-names, and odd quirks (such as the Law of Surprise, which drives two major plot points). Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Why The Witcher Is Better Than Game of Thrones," 1 Jan. 2020 And in this season of unpredictability — isn’t December supposed to be dominated by the better teams? — anything from 55-55 to 3-3 in a blizzard could occur at Lincoln Financial Field. Barry Wilner, The Denver Post, "NFL HQ can relax: NFC East winner will have at least 8 wins," 16 Dec. 2019 On the ride back to New York City, the volunteers were caught in a blizzard. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, "Prepping for Parole," 25 Nov. 2019 His first published cartoon, from 1954, depicted a boy and his father in a blizzard. Matt Schudel,, "Gahan Wilson, cartooning’s master of the creepy and the macabre, dies at 89," 24 Nov. 2019 Jean-Antoine Carrel perished in a blizzard on the Matterhorn in 1890 but is notably absent. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "How the pursuit of one European peak gave rise to modern mountaineering," 1 Aug. 2019 Strong gale-force winds and blizzard conditions created a whiteout on the busy highway, and within minutes cars, SUVs, trucks and semitrailers smashed and sandwiched underneath each other. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The year in weather: Polar vortices, tornadoes, derechos, a white Halloween and green Christmas," 1 Jan. 2020 While the blizzard warnings were allowed to expire in the Dakotas on Monday and some portions of the interstate highways were allowed to open, the storm continued to linger in the region. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "St. Paul, Minneapolis declare snow emergencies. Heed parking signs or get towed.," 30 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of blizzard

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for blizzard

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blizzard

Time Traveler for blizzard

Time Traveler

The first known use of blizzard was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Statistics for blizzard

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Blizzard.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blizzard


How to pronounce blizzard (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on blizzard

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!