de·​re·​cho də-ˈrā-(ˌ)chō How to pronounce derecho (audio)
plural derechos
: a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful straight-line winds that cause widespread destruction

Examples of derecho in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The storm could become a derecho, which is classified by a swath of wind damage extending more than 240 miles with wind gusts of 58 mph or greater along most of its length, according to the National Weather Service. Lauren Mascarenhas, CNN, 29 June 2023 During the height of the storm, there were a few cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, but nothing crazy like the 2012 derecho. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2023 Atmospheric Administration climatologist Adam Smith described a 2020 derecho to CNN Weather as an inland hurricane, with winds reports in excess of 100 mph and hurricane-force winds lasting for up to 45 minutes. Judson Jones, CNN, 13 June 2022 Cedar Rapids has made the restoration of its tree canopy a priority since that storm, called a derecho, and will receive $6 million in funding through the new grants. Scott McFettridge, Fortune, 14 Sep. 2023 The last time that happened locally was June 13, 2013; the previous time before that was the June 29, 2012 derecho. Misty Severi, Washington Examiner, 7 Aug. 2023 The month’s high temperature of 99 degrees on the 17th broke a daily record (from 1994) and was our hottest June temperature since the severe 104 degrees on the day of the 2012 derecho. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, 1 July 2022 The longest-lasting derecho happened in 1999, when a derecho that began in North Dakota finally petered out some 1,300 miles later in Maine. Ashley Stimpson, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2023 The June 2012 derecho occurred on the hottest June day on record in Washington — the temperature hit a blistering 104 degrees. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 29 June 2022 See More

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

Word History


Spanish, straight (contrasted with tornado, taken to mean "turned"), from Latin directus — more at direct entry 1

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of derecho was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near derecho

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition


plural derechos
: a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful winds that move in a straight line and that cause widespread destruction

from Spanish, "straight" (opposed to tornado, taken to mean "turned" in Spanish)

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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