kat·​a·​bat·​ic ˌka-tə-ˈba-tik How to pronounce katabatic (audio)
: relating to or being a wind produced by the flow of cold dense air down a slope (as of a mountain or glacier) in an area subject to radiational cooling

Examples of katabatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers posit that katabatic winds are not exclusive to the Himalayas and can occur anywhere the conditions are met. Devika Rao, theweek, 6 Jan. 2024 The Santa Ana winds in California are another example of a katabatic wind, but these vary slightly in terms of temperature and latitude. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 24 Apr. 2022 The katabatic wind probably drifted the snow and allowed an extra load to build up slowly. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 31 Mar. 2022 The air travels west and goes screaming down the mountains, turning into katabatic winds, compressed and warmed by the lower altitude. Wired, 29 Oct. 2019 Some experts think the fire is likely a preview of the dangerous conditions Southern California will face later this week, as a heat wave combines with katabatic winds. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 23 Oct. 2019 One way to think of katabatic winds is to picture them as gargantuan cataracts of air moving over the ice sheets. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, 10 Jan. 2019

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

Word History


Greek katabatos descending, verbal of katabainein to go down, from kata- cata- + bainein to go — more at come

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of katabatic was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near katabatic

Cite this Entry

“Katabatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/katabatic. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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