headwind

noun
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 Despite the stronger-than-expected results, Coke stuck to its full-year earnings guidance, which includes expectations that commodity-cost increases will be a mid-single-digit percentage headwind to the cost of goods sold. Will Feuer, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 The temperature was perfect for racing, 50 degrees at the start, though there was a headwind. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 18 Apr. 2022 While officials last month cited the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as a risk, the minutes suggest officials didn’t see it as a serious headwind for the economy. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 Still, hedged or not, rising jet fuel costs will undoubtedly be a headwind for airlines moving forward. Will Daniel, Fortune, 9 Mar. 2022 High energy prices are a major headwind for airlines and other types of transportation companies, however. NBC News, 28 Feb. 2022 And as long as worker scarcity persists, inflation is likely to remain a major economic headwind. NBC News, 9 Feb. 2022 The disclosure could prove to be a headwind for Pulliam, 40, whose campaign has contrasted the small-town virtues of rural Clackamas County with the supposed squalor of Portland. oregonlive, 5 Feb. 2022 But if a headwind gives way to a tailwind, say, or if a cloudy day turns clear and the crystals of the snow shift, then advantages can, too. Howard Fendrich And Pat Graham, chicagotribune.com, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of headwind

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About headwind

Time Traveler for headwind

Time Traveler

The first known use of headwind was in 1709

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near headwind

headwear

headwind

headword

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for headwind

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Headwind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/headwind. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on headwind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for headwind

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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