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 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 Crocket, 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 original building dated to 1840, but it largely was replaced after destruction in the devastating blizzard of 1978. James R. Carroll, USA TODAY, "Cape Ann, Massachusetts: A charming alternative to Cape Cod with sandy beaches and fried clams," 3 June 2019 However, the blizzard of deals isn’t necessarily good news for existing shareholders, who could in time see their own holdings diluted. ... Shen Hong, WSJ, "A Convertible-Bond Boom in China Isn’t All Good News for Shareholders," 26 May 2019 Dear Tom, My husband says that during the blizzard of 1967, snow was loaded on train cars and sent south because of there being nowhere to put it in the city. Tom Skilling,, "Ask Tom: Is it true snow from 1967 blizzard was shipped south on trains?," 16 Apr. 2018 The generous space between them is insurance that a fire in one is less likely to spread to another, and the arrangement ensures there won’t be a constricted area where the wind might eddy in a blizzard and pile snow against a tent entrance. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019 The blizzard was blamed for hundreds of vehicle crashes in Minnesota and left behind 25 inches of snow (63.5 centimeters) in northeast South Dakota. Dave Kolpack, The Seattle Times, "Spring snowstorm buries Midwest, tornadoes possible in South," 12 Apr. 2019 Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota will take the brunt of it: As of Wednesday afternoon, these states have blizzard and winter storm warnings in effect and many schools and businesses are expected to be closed through Thursday. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "A Bomb Cyclone Will Slam 70 Million People Across the U.S. Because Winter Just Won't Quit," 13 Mar. 2019 Stepping out today in New York City for pal Meghan Markle's baby shower, the mother of two braved the blizzard and showed off a glamorous blowout worthy of a sunny June afternoon. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Amal Clooney Perfects the Snow Day Blowout at Meghan Markle’s Baby Shower," 20 Feb. 2019 The storm is slated to move rapidly across the Midwest into New England, intensifying along the way and bringing near-blizzard conditions over parts of New England Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Heavy Snow Threatens Travel Over Holiday Weekend," 18 Jan. 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near blizzard





blizzard head



Statistics for blizzard

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for blizzard

The first known use of blizzard was in 1870

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on blizzard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with blizzard

Spanish Central: Translation of blizzard

Nglish: Translation of blizzard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blizzard for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about blizzard

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