wind

1 of 5

noun (1)

ˈwind How to pronounce wind (audio)
archaic or poetic
ˈwīnd How to pronounce wind (audio)
often attributive
1
a
: a natural movement of air of any velocity
especially : the earth's air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion horizontally
b
: an artificially produced movement of air
2
a
: a force or agency that carries along or influences : tendency, trend
withstood the winds of popular opinion Felix Frankfurter
b
: a destructive force or influence
3
c
: the pit of the stomach : solar plexus
4
: gas generated in the stomach or the intestines
pass wind
5
plural winds
a
: musical wind instruments especially as distinguished from strings and percussion : the wind instruments of an orchestra
b
: players of wind instruments
6
a
: slight information especially about something secret : intimation
got wind of the plan
b
: air carrying a scent (as of a hunter or game)
7
: something that is insubstantial: such as
a
: mere talk : idle words
c
: vain self-satisfaction
8
a
: a direction from which the wind may blow : a point of the compass
especially : one of the cardinal points
b
: the direction from which the wind is blowing
9
a
: compressed air or gas
b
archaic : air
windless adjective
windlessly adverb

wind

2 of 5

verb (1)

winded; winding; winds

transitive verb

1
: to make short of breath
2
: to detect or follow by scent
3
: to expose to the air or wind : dry by exposing to air
4
: to regulate the wind supply of (an organ pipe)
5
: to rest (an animal, such as a horse) in order to allow the breath to be recovered

intransitive verb

1
: to scent game
2
dialect : to pause for breath

wind

3 of 5

verb (2)

wound ˈwau̇nd How to pronounce wind (audio) also winded; winding

transitive verb

1
a
: to turn completely or repeatedly about an object : coil, twine
b
: to encircle or cover with something pliable : bind with loops or layers
c
: to raise to a high level (as of excitement or tension)
usually used with up
d(1)
: to tighten the spring of
wind a clock
(2)
: crank
(3)
obsolete : to make tighter : tighten, tune
e(1)
: to hoist or haul by means of a rope or chain and a windlass
(2)
: to move (a ship) by hauling on a capstan
2
a
: to traverse on a curving course
the river winds the valley
b
: to cause to move in a curving line or path
c
: to effect by or as if by curving
d(1)
: to cause (something, such as a ship) to change direction : turn
(2)
: to turn (a ship) end for end
e
archaic : to turn the course of
especially : to lead (a person) as one wishes
3
b
: to introduce sinuously or stealthily : insinuate
c
obsolete : weave

intransitive verb

1
a
: to have a curving course or shape : extend in curves
b
: to proceed as if by winding
2
: to move so as to encircle something
3
: to turn when lying at anchor
4
: bend, warp

wind

4 of 5

noun (2)

1
: coil, turn
2
: a particular method of winding
3
: an act of winding : the state of being wound
4
: a mechanism (such as a winch) for winding
winded ˈwīn-dəd How to pronounce wind (audio)
ˈwin-
or wound ˈwau̇nd How to pronounce wind (audio) ; winding

transitive verb

1
: to cause (something, such as a horn) to sound by blowing : blow
2
: to sound (a call or note) on a horn
wound a rousing call R. L. Stevenson

intransitive verb

: to produce a sound on a horn
Phrases
before the wind
: in the same direction as the main force of the wind
close to the wind
: as nearly as possible against the main force of the wind
have the wind of
1
: to be to windward of
2
: to be on the scent of
3
: to have a superior position to
in the wind
: about to happen : astir, afoot
change is in the wind
near the wind
1
: close to the wind
2
: close to a point of danger : near the permissible limit
off the wind
: away from the direction from which the wind is blowing
on the wind
: toward the direction from which the wind is blowing
to the wind or to the winds
: aside, away
threw caution to the wind
under the wind
1
: to leeward
2
: in a place protected from the wind : under the lee

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1) and Verb (3)

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German wint wind, Latin ventus, Greek aēnai to blow, Sanskrit vāti it blows

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English windan to twist, move with speed or force, brandish; akin to Old High German wintan to wind, Umbrian ohavendu let him turn aside

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Verb (3)

1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wind was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near wind

Cite this Entry

“Wind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wind. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

wind 1 of 6

noun

1
: a movement of air
2
: something that has force or influence
the changing winds of political opinion
3
: breath sense 2a
the fall knocked the wind out of me
4
: gas produced in the stomach or the intestines
5
: something unimportant
especially : idle words
6
a
: air carrying a scent (as of a hunter or game)
b
: slight information especially about something secret
got wind of our plans
7
plural : the wind instruments of a band or orchestra
8
: the direction from which the wind is blowing
in the wind
: about to happen : astir, afoot

wind

2 of 6

verb

1
: to get a scent of
the dogs winded game
2
: to cause to be out of breath
the long climb winded us
3
: to allow to rest so as to recover breath
wind a horse

wind

3 of 6

verb

winded ˈwīn-dəd How to pronounce wind (audio)
ˈwin-
or wound ˈwau̇nd How to pronounce wind (audio) ; winding
: to sound by blowing
wind a horn

wind

4 of 6

verb

wound ˈwau̇nd How to pronounce wind (audio) also winded; winding
1
: to move in a series of twists and turns
a river winding through the valley
2
3
a
: to encircle or cover with something flexible
b
: to coil completely or repeatedly about an object : twine
wind thread on a spool
4
: to lift, pull, move, or operate by means of a rope, cable, or chain and a winch
wind up a pail
5
: to tighten the spring of
wind a clock
wind up a toy train
winder noun

wind

5 of 6

noun

: something curved or twisted : bend

wind

6 of 6

adjective

ˈwind
: of or relating to wind instruments
the wind section of an orchestra

Geographical Definition

Wind

geographical name

river in west central Wyoming

Note: The Wind River is the upper course of the Bighorn River.

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