1 of 3

noun (1)

: the sensation of taste
: keen delight


2 of 3

noun (2)

: a sudden brief rush of wind
: a sudden outburst : surge
a gust of emotion
gustily adverb
gustiness noun
gusty adjective


3 of 3


gusted; gusting; gusts

intransitive verb

: to blow in gusts
winds gusting up to 40 mph

Did you know?

Gust Beyond Wind

You're no doubt familiar with the simple gust that means "a brief burst of wind." At least a century and a half before that word first appeared in print in the late 16th century, however, a differently derived homograph came on the scene. The windy gust is probably derived from an Old Norse word gustr, whereas our older featured word (which is now considerably rarer than its look-alike) comes to us through Middle English from gustus, the Latin word for "taste." Gustus gave English another word as well. Gusto (which now usually means "zest" but can also mean "an individual or specific taste") comes to us from gustus by way of Italian.

Examples of gust in a Sentence

Verb The forecast calls for winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
Recent Examples on the Web
Roads flood in North Carolina As Ophelia started lashing North Carolina, storm surge flooded coastal areas and inlets in the state overnight with wind gusts of 73 mph hitting Cape Lookout, along the state’s Outer Banks. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 24 Sep. 2023 The system brought tropical storm conditions to North Carolina, with rainfall upwards of 1 to 3 inches per hour and sustained winds with gusts of 35 to 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service's field office in Raleigh. Mirna Alsharif, NBC News, 24 Sep. 2023 Perhaps the 28 mph wind gust recorded at Reagan National Airport around 8 p.m. served as a prelude to what was to come. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2023 Peak gusts are projected to be 70 mph (113 kph) on the coast in eastern Maine, but there will be gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph) across a swath more than 400 miles wide, from Maine’s Moosehead Lake eastward all the way into the ocean, Foisy said. David Sharp,, 16 Sep. 2023 Parts of coastal Maine could see waves up to 15 feet high crashing down, causing erosion and damage, and the strong gusts will cause power outages, said Louise Fode, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Maine. David Sharp, Robert F. Butaky and Patrick Whittle The Associated Press, Arkansas Online, 16 Sep. 2023 Parts of coastal Maine could see waves up to 15 feet high crashing down, causing erosion and damage, and the powerful gusts will cause power outages in a state where the ground is already saturated from heavy rain, said Louise Fode, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Maine. David Sharp and Patrick Whittle, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2023 As evening fell on Friday at Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham, one of the outer Cape locations expected to bear the brunt of the storm, dozens of wave-watchers braved fierce gusts to gaze out at the roiling ocean, and snap windblown selfies with the distant whitecaps. Colleen Cronin, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2023 The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 84 in Mission Valley East with winds of 5-10 mph that include gusts of 20 mph. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2023
East and northeast breezes could gust near 25 mph by midafternoon. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2023 Harold made landfall as a tropical storm just before 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) on Padre Island, Texas, with sustained winds of 50 mph and gusts as high as 67 mph, becoming the first storm to come ashore in the United States in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Mary Gilbert, CNN, 22 Aug. 2023 An Enhanced Risk of severe storms is forecast near and north of I-20, where pockets of damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph and large hail are the threats. Leada Gore |, al, 7 Aug. 2023 That evening, the chance shoots up to 70% with storms especially likely after 11 p.m., and heavy wind gusts up to 20 mph are predicted. Ellie Willard, The Arizona Republic, 28 July 2023 Light east-northeast breezes continue to provide ultra-comfortable air (dew points even below 50 degrees!) and may occasionally gust near 15 mph. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023 During that period, the wind will gust upwards of 40 mph in many coastal areas, 50 mph or higher in places like Alpine and Ramona and 64 to 67 mph in El Cajon, Campo and Mount Laguna. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Aug. 2023 Wind gusts up to 30 mph could arise, officials said. Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 The biggest threats are lightning, large hail and wind gusts up to 70 mph. Max Golembo, ABC News, 26 June 2023 See More

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English guste, from Latin gustus; akin to Latin gustare to taste — more at choose

Noun (2)

probably from Old Norse gustr; akin to Old High German gussa flood, and perhaps to Old English gēotan to pour — more at found

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1813, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gust was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near gust

Cite this Entry

“Gust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a sudden brief rush of wind
: a sudden outburst
a gust of anger

More from Merriam-Webster on gust

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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