kat·​a·​bat·​ic | \ ˌka-tə-ˈba-tik How to pronounce katabatic (audio) \

Definition of katabatic

: 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 air travels west and goes screaming down the mountains, turning into katabatic winds, compressed and warmed by the lower altitude. Wired, "Shifting Winds and the Changing Shape of California Fires," 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, "Why Southern California's Wildfires Are Inevitable," 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, "Polar Light," 10 Jan. 2019

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

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First Known Use of katabatic

1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for katabatic

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

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Time Traveler for katabatic

Time Traveler

The first known use of katabatic was in 1918

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Cite this Entry

“Katabatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/katabatic. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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