Definition of spindrift
1 : sea spray; especially : spray blown from waves during a gale
2 : fine wind-borne snow or sand
spindrift was our Word of the Day on 10/06/2009. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Spindrift first set sail in the mid-18th century under Scottish command. During its first voyage, it was known by the Scottish moniker "speendrift." Speen meant "to drive before a strong wind," so a "speendrift" was a drift of spray during such action. In 1823, English speakers recruited the word, but signed it up as "spindrift." At that time, its sole duty was to describe the driving sprays at sea. However, English speakers soon realized that "spindrift" had potential to serve on land as well, and the word was sent ashore to describe driving snow and sand. Today, "spindrift" still serves us commendably at sea and on land.
Origin and Etymology of spindrift
alteration of Scots speendrift, from speen to drive before a strong wind + English drift
First Known Use: 1823See Words from the same year
Learn More about spindrift
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up spindrift? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).