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

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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 task would have been even more difficult in a blizzard, with most of the tent buried in snow. Douglas Preston, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021 For Stodola, the blizzard-like conditions nearly trapped him and his family at his mother's house on Christmas Day in 2012. Neal Earley, Arkansas Online, 22 Feb. 2021 Meanwhile, the blizzard-like conditions froze natural gas pipes—responsible for a big portion of the state’s energy—and, to a much lesser extent, wind turbines. Fortune, 20 Feb. 2021 Expect periods of near zero visibility with blowing snow creating near blizzard-like conditions! Dallas News, 14 Feb. 2021 The winter storm has already projected up to 2 feet of snowfall, and blizzard-like conditions across the Northeast. NBC News, 1 Feb. 2021 The system dumped more than 7 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada region, creating hazardous blizzard-like conditions and shuttering roadways. Julia Musto, Fox News, 31 Jan. 2021 Heavy snow and wind gusts of 40-50 mph will cover a widespread area with blizzard-like conditions, near-zero visibility and 1-2 feet of snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, 15 Dec. 2020 But drivers argue that there is a major difference between a blizzard — a transient hardship — and a 16-month pandemic., 29 May 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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Dictionary Entries Near blizzard





blizzard head



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Statistics for blizzard

Last Updated

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Blizzard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 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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