up·​draft ˈəp-ˌdraft How to pronounce updraft (audio)
: an upward movement of gas (such as air)

Examples of updraft in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Multiple rounds of supercells — large thunderstorms with deep and persistent rotating updrafts that look like tall storm clouds with anvils or elongated clouds at the top — will be possible in some areas where the strongest storms develop. Robert A. Cronkleton, Kansas City Star, 1 Apr. 2024 The most likely sources of the spooky-looking webbing are baby spiders who use updraft winds to disperse themselves after hatching, according to scientists. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2023 Climate change can also fuel strong updrafts, says Victor Gensini, who researches severe convective storms and climate change at Northern Illinois University. Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, 11 Aug. 2023 The idea is that this rotating air could then be turned upright when it gets sucked into an updraft. Carolyn Wilke, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023 With very warm sea surface waters shifting from the west toward the central and eastern Pacific, the updrafts of air and associated rainstorms shift along with it. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 22 Nov. 2023 Vultures may find fresh thermal columns by watching cloud patterns, revisiting reliable updraft hot spots and, above all, by spying on other birds, tuning in to a kind of aerial Waze. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2023 When thunderstorms blossom, their updrafts can vertically entrain and stretch any nascent low-level swirl, helping to establish a more cohesive center of circulation. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2023 Supercells are characterized by a mile-wide rotating updraft called a mesocyclone that can last for hours. Carolyn Wilke, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of updraft was circa 1887

Dictionary Entries Near updraft

Cite this Entry

“Updraft.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/updraft. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


up·​draft ˈəp-ˌdraft How to pronounce updraft (audio)
: an upward movement of gas (as air)

More from Merriam-Webster on updraft

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