Definition of williwaw
1a : a sudden violent gust of cold land air common along mountainous coasts of high latitudesb : a sudden violent wind
2 : a violent commotion
williwaw was our Word of the Day on 11/05/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of williwaw in a sentence
the surprise verdict of the jury created a wild williwaw as reporters rushed to file their stories
a williwaw rose up seemingly out of nowhere and wreaked havoc with our campsite
Did You Know?
In 1900, Captain Joshua Slocum described williwaws as compressed gales of wind . . . that Boreas handed down over the hills in chunks. To unsuspecting sailors or pilots, such winds might seem to come out of nowhere - just like word williwaw did some 150 years ago. All anyone knows about the origin of the word is that it was first used by writers in the mid-1800s to name fierce winds in the Strait of Magellan at the southern tip of South America. The writers were British, and indications are that they may have learned the word from British sailors and seal hunters. Where they got the word, we cannot say.
Origin and Etymology of williwaw
First Known Use: circa 1842
Seen and Heard
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