head·​wind | \ ˈhed-ˌwind How to pronounce headwind (audio) \
plural headwinds

Definition of headwind

1 : a wind having the opposite general direction to a course of movement (as of an aircraft)
2 : 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

The first Osprey rolled out of Bell’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas on May 23, 1988, and the V-22 program immediately ran into strong headwinds. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019 Beyond Brexit, the auto industry is facing strong headwinds. Danica Kirka, The Seattle Times, "Honda to shut plant in Brexit-shaken Britain," 20 Feb. 2019 The company is still facing significant headwinds, including new reports about whether its autonomous technology is actually up to snuff. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Uber," 29 Dec. 2018 The country's efforts to connect its bond market, the world's third-biggest, with the international financial system are hitting dual headwinds: a rise in global borrowing costs and the country's own campaign to reduce financial leverage. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg’s Week in Pictures," 14 June 2018 For most companies, one product facing growth headwinds wouldn't be a concern. Mark Gurman, chicagotribune.com, "Apple results to show iPhone X problem and plan to fix it," 1 May 2018 So that all looks, at least to my untrained eye, like a headwind. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "This Week in Elon," 24 Aug. 2018 Before the revelations about his writings, Das was facing other headwinds as one of 10 Democrats running for the nomination to replace retiring US Representative Niki Tsongas. Matt Stout, BostonGlobe.com, "In college writings, Third District candidate Beej Das compared minority organizations to Nazis," 9 June 2018 With the headwind, the gas came back to the peloton. Samuel Petrequin, The Seattle Times, "Tour riders sprayed with tear gas amid protest by farmers," 24 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of headwind

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about headwind

Dictionary Entries near headwind








Statistics for headwind

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for headwind

The first known use of headwind was in 1709

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for headwind



English Language Learners Definition of headwind

: a wind that is blowing toward something (such as a ship or an airplane) as it moves forward

More from Merriam-Webster on headwind

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with headwind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headwind

Comments on headwind

What made you want to look up headwind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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