noun, often capitalized
har·​mat·​tan | \ ˌhär-mə-ˈtan How to pronounce harmattan (audio) , här-ˈma-tᵊn \

Definition of harmattan

: a dust-laden wind on the Atlantic coast of Africa in some seasons

Examples of harmattan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some could not tolerate the cold harmattan winds that blow down from the Sahara. The Economist, "The grasscutter shows why it is hard to stop bushmeat hunting," 31 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harmattan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of harmattan

1671, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harmattan

from or akin to Twi haramata

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Time Traveler for harmattan

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The first known use of harmattan was in 1671

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Cite this Entry

“Harmattan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harmattan. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on harmattan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harmattan

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