roaring forties


often capitalized R&F
: a tract of ocean between roughly 40 and 50 degrees latitude south characterized by strong westerly winds and rough seas
also : these winds

Word History

First Known Use

1857, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of roaring forties was in 1857

Dictionary Entries Near roaring forties

Cite this Entry

“Roaring forties.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on roaring forties

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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