tail·​wind | \ ˈtāl-ˌwind How to pronounce tailwind (audio) \
plural tailwinds

Definition of tailwind

1 : a wind having the same general direction as a course of movement (as of an aircraft)
2 : a force or influence that advances progress toward an improved condition … the strengthening housing market should be providing tailwinds for home improvement retailers.— Katherine Peralta Medicare reform is a thorny problem even when the political tailwinds are favorable.— Russ Wiles

Examples of tailwind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Schirra took the plane up to 47,000 feet, where the duo found a roaring 160-knot tailwind. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 1: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon," 16 July 2019 Expansion of employee ownership could use a tailwind. The Economist, "Blue-collar capitalists," 8 June 2019 But around 2000 an unlikely combination of tailwinds temporarily suspended this age-old truism. The Economist, "Emerging-market dreams of rich-world incomes meet reality," 1 Aug. 2019 To succeed, a pilot had to average 60 knots of tailwind, Cunningham recalled—and had to hit that average by Albuquerque or El Paso. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 1: How the Apollo fire propelled NASA to the Moon," 16 July 2019 Max Heinemann, client manager of wine and spirits at Nielsen, says versatility is one major tailwind helping propel sangria. John Kell, Fortune, "Prepackaged Sangria Is Having a Moment This Summer," 29 June 2019 Furnishing a considerable tailwind to this marketing pitch is that people really do resent their email. John Herrman, New York Times, "Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want?," 19 June 2019 And then on April 27, at the region championships in Webster, Texas, Boling ran 100 meters in 9.98 seconds, though with a tailwind of 4.2 meters per second (just under 10 mph), more than twice the allowable limit for record purposes. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Is High School Sprint Phenom and Viral Star Matthew Boling the Future of Track?," 19 June 2019 The tailwind carried the plane through Greenland and Scandinavian airspace, allowing the airbus to reach the tarmac just 11 minutes behind schedule, despite the meandering route. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018

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

1897, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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tail wheel





Statistics for tailwind

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for tailwind

The first known use of tailwind was in 1897

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English Language Learners Definition of tailwind

: a wind that blows in the same direction as something (such as a ship or an airplane) that is moving forward

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tailwind

Comments on tailwind

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


to make a temporary encampment

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