mon·​soon | \ män-ˈsün, ˈmän-ˌ\

Definition of monsoon

1 : a periodic wind especially in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia
2 : the season of the southwest monsoon in India and adjacent areas that is characterized by very heavy rainfall
3 : rainfall that is associated with the monsoon

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Other Words from monsoon

monsoonal \ -​ˈsü-​nᵊl , -​ˌsü-​ \ adjective

Examples of monsoon in a Sentence

floods caused by summer monsoons

Recent Examples on the Web

The project started when co-author Ardian Jusufi, then a postdoc in the lab of University of California, Berkeley biophysicist Robert Full, was doing field work in Singapore during monsoon season. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Geckos’ new superpower is running on water; now we know how they do it," 6 Dec. 2018 The weather ranges from the high 70s to low 90s pretty much year-round; however, September and October are the tail end of monsoon season (think 15 to 18 days of rain per month), so try to schedule your trip for afterwards. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: U.S. to Bangkok from $462 Round-Trip," 22 Aug. 2018 If weather forecasts are correct, access to the cave could soon close again due to flooding from seasonal monsoon rains. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Thai soccer team rescue might need to happen sooner than expected, experts warn," 2 Oct. 2018 Authorities say the mission could take three to four days in a desperate race against the monsoon rains that could raise water levels in the cave. Robyn Dixon,, "Divers rescue more boys from flooded Thailand cave, raising total saved to eight, while four boys and coach remain trapped," 9 July 2018 The team’s extraction occurred over a three day period as the country’s annual monsoons flooded the cave, prompting a massive and frenzied search and rescue operation. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Thai soccer team boys rescued from cave reportedly recreate experience, navigate through fake tunnel," 6 Sep. 2018 The drought can be seen in stalagmites in India, where the lower monsoon levels are represented by changes in oxygen isotopes. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "According to Geologists, We're Living In a New Age," 18 July 2018 While a sign outside the Tham Luang Cave warns that monsoon downpours can transform internal passageways into powerful rivers within a few hours, the boys had explored its caverns before. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "Stateless and Poor, Some Boys in Thai Cave Had Already Beaten Long Odds," 10 July 2018 Earl reports that at certain times of the year, monsoon systems from the north east trap lots of moisture in the air. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Nearly 9-Hour Rainbow in Taiwan Sets New Guinness Record," 19 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'monsoon.' 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 monsoon

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monsoon

obsolete Dutch monssoen, from Portuguese monção, from Arabic mawsim time, season

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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The first known use of monsoon was in 1584

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English Language Learners Definition of monsoon

: a wind in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia that brings heavy rains in the summer

: the rainy season that occurs in southern Asia in the summer

: the rain that falls during this season


mon·​soon | \ män-ˈsün \

Kids Definition of monsoon

1 : a wind in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia that blows from the southwest from April to October and from the northeast from October to April
2 : the rainy season that comes with the southwest monsoon

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More from Merriam-Webster on monsoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monsoon

Spanish Central: Translation of monsoon

Nglish: Translation of monsoon for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about monsoon

Comments on monsoon

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


to gather or build up little by little

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