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hur·​ri·​cane ˈhər-ə-ˌkān How to pronounce hurricane (audio)
: a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes

Note: Hurricane has traditionally been used especially when naming or referring to storms occurring in the western Atlantic; it is used for storms in the northeastern Pacific as well.

The people who bought homes there would never find out the truth, unless a hurricane came and blew off their roofs and knocked down their walls.Carl Hiassen
A few days after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, a small group of strangers on bicycles showed up in the Algiers neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking if anyone needed medical attention.Tim Shorrock
The most recent system was Hurricane Erick, which charged towards Hawaii with winds topping 130mph as a category four system.Katie Sewell
compare typhoon see Beaufort Scale Table
: something resembling a hurricane especially in its turmoil
a rushing hurricane of blows struck him as he stood upDonn Byrne


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: having or being a glass chimney (see chimney sense 4) providing protection from wind
a hurricane lamp

Example Sentences

Noun economic news that unleashed a hurricane on the trading floor
Recent Examples on the Web
Another demo video shows how a manufacturing company could use it to prepare for a hurricane strike by analyzing operations at its distribution centers and deciding whether to accelerate, delay or cancel orders. Jake Rudnitsky, Fortune, 9 May 2023 Just how bad will the 2023 hurricane season be in the Atlantic? Leigh Morgan, al, 13 Apr. 2023 Most climate simulations project more El Ninos, which is a natural warming of the central Pacific that alters weather worldwide and dampens Atlantic hurricane activity. Seth Borenstein, Orlando Sentinel, 7 Apr. 2023 The girl was positioned on the top of a palm tree keeping her head above the flood surge caused by the hurricane that had just passed. Cathrine Todd, Forbes, 1 Apr. 2023 Bedel joined The Times in 1991, and has covered hurricanes, wildfires and nine Olympic Games. NEWS Southern Tornadoes A storm system killed at least 25 people in Mississippi and at least one in Alabama. Ashley Wu, New York Times, 26 Mar. 2023 From rough seas to hurricane season, here's how to handle cruising during a storm. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 26 Mar. 2023 Independent adjusters are hired temporarily by insurers after hurricanes or other catastrophes strike to help manage large numbers of claims. Ron Hurtibise, Sun Sentinel, 17 Mar. 2023 Forecasts for higher winds from more tropical cyclones and hurricanes aren’t good news. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 7 May 2023
Lee County health officials earlier this month warned people that the post-hurricane environment – including warm, standing water – could pose a danger from the potentially deadly bacteria. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2022 The rocket, known as the Space Launch System and standing 322 feet tall with its payload on top, appears to be pretty hurricane resistant. Kenneth Chang,, 15 Nov. 2022 The disaster at the 12-story oceanfront condo building in Surfside drew the largest non-hurricane emergency response in Florida history, including rescue crews from across the U.S. and as far away as Israel to help local teams search for victims. CBS News, 28 Oct. 2022 DeSantis has been all over the state in the weeks since, announcing post-hurricane clean-up projects. David Jackson, USA TODAY, 24 Oct. 2022 In visiting Florida post-hurricane, President Joe Biden has found himself in the crosswinds of two potential 2024 re-election opponents, Former President Donald Trump and current Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 6 Oct. 2022 The onslaught of mental anguish and post-hurricane dangers can seem overwhelming. Holly Yan, CNN, 29 Sep. 2022 Puerto Ricans await aid and fret about post-hurricane recovery. Los Angeles Times, 26 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hurricane.' 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 and Adjective

Spanish huracán, from Taino hurakán

First Known Use


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1894, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hurricane was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near hurricane

Cite this Entry

“Hurricane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a cyclone formed in the tropics with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning

More from Merriam-Webster on hurricane

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