si·​roc·​co shə-ˈrä-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce sirocco (audio)
variants or less commonly scirocco
plural siroccos
: a hot dust-laden wind from the Libyan deserts that blows on the northern Mediterranean coast chiefly in Italy, Malta, and Sicily
: a warm moist oppressive southeast wind in the same regions
: a hot or warm wind of cyclonic origin from an arid or heated region

Examples of sirocco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On our drives, Peppe and I chat about everything from the gusty sirocco winds that blow in from the south to the humanitarian aid the Sicilian government has offered migrants who arrive on these shores from northern Africa. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 May 2022 The yellow fins poking ever so slightly out of the sea tend to look fragile against the raging Adriatic, in footage taken when they're raised -- normally during storms whipped up by rough sirocco winds, which blast the city from the south. Julia Buckley, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 Also in Sicily, every now and then, there is the threat of the sirocco, a hot wind that brings high temperatures. Lauren Mowery, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 The sirocco, the warm wind that blows up from Libya, is coming. Stephanie Rafanelli, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 Aug. 2021 The setting is Venice in the fall of 1966, the site of a real-life historic flood in which water levels rose over six feet — a consequence of high tides combined with three days of heavy rain and a sirocco wind that wouldn’t quit. Washington Post, 27 June 2021 Catania’s warmest month is August with an average maximum temperature of 89 degrees (32°C), thanks to the ‘sirocco’, a hot wind current from Africa that keeps Sicily unseasonably warm year-round. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 This remote lump of black volcanic rock, relentlessly buffeted by warm, sirocco winds, is closer to Tunisia than Italy. Nicky Swallow, Travel + Leisure, 11 Nov. 2020 Not wishing to lose business, merchants say it’s just the warm, humid sirocco. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 15 Apr. 2020 See More

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

Word History


Italian scirocco, sirocco, alteration of Old Italian scilocco, from Arabic dialect (Maghreb) šlōq southeast wind, alteration of Arabic shalūq, shulūq

First Known Use

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sirocco was in 1617

Dictionary Entries Near sirocco

Cite this Entry

“Sirocco.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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