head·​wind ˈhed-ˌwind How to pronounce headwind (audio)
plural headwinds
: a wind having the opposite general direction to a course of movement (as of an aircraft)
: a force or influence that inhibits progress
Power-plant construction is facing headwinds in the U.S. as renewable energy projects and slack demand throw the economics of new generators into question.Thomas Black
For generations, the tribe has been leaning into cultural headwinds to preserve a language on the brink of extinction.Kevin Simpson
The plan faces political headwinds from both sides of the aisle …Heidi M. Przybyla

Examples of headwind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At $477 million, the Newseum also cost far more than its initial budget and opened three years behind schedule into stiff economic headwinds. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 17 Nov. 2023 The German car maker will have to grapple with slowing demand and pricing pressure in a weakening macroeconomic environment, offsetting gains from abating production headwinds, Bernstein says. WSJ, 16 Nov. 2023 Risk adjustment changes in 2024-26 will also result in more revenue headwinds which could really impair growth, profitability, stock prices, and CEO job security, especially for the plans that miss out on the all-important 5% revenue bonus for achieving 4 Stars. 7. Bob Kocher, Fortune, 14 Nov. 2023 Hannan has considered the program but worries that political headwinds could jeopardize its future and his ability to successfully get his loans forgiven. Abha Bhattarai, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 Books were still good, the work still worthwhile, despite the stiff headwinds. Kevin Lozano, The New Yorker, 1 Nov. 2023 But the plan to leave McHenry in the seat faces similar headwinds, as a majority has vocally opposed the resolution to promote him thus far. Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, The New Republic, 24 Oct. 2023 Economic headwinds In addition to soaring Treasury yields cooling the economy, dwindling savings accounts, fatigue from high inflation, the resumption of student loan payments this month and even the uncertainty around ongoing labor strikes could ultimately break the US consumer. Bryan Mena, CNN, 19 Oct. 2023 Despite these economic headwinds and concerns of a looming recession, German businesses have displayed resilience. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of headwind was in 1709

Dictionary Entries Near headwind

Cite this Entry

“Headwind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headwind. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


head·​wind -ˌwind How to pronounce headwind (audio)
: a wind blowing in a direction opposite to a course of movement (as of a ship or aircraft)

More from Merriam-Webster on headwind

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