1

windmill

noun wind·mill \ ˈwin(d)-ˌmil \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of windmill

1 a :a mill or machine operated by the wind usually acting on oblique vanes or sails that radiate from a horizontal shaft; especially :a wind-driven water pump or electric generator
b :the wind-driven wheel of a windmill
2 :something that resembles or suggests a windmill; especially :a calisthenic exercise that involves alternately lowering each outstretched hand to touch the toes of the opposite foot
3
[from the episode in Don Quixote by Cervantes in which the hero attacks windmills under the illusion that they are giants]
:an imaginary wrong, evil, or opponent usually used in the phrase to tilt at windmills

Recent Examples of windmill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'windmill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of windmill

First Known Use of windmill

13th century


2

windmill

verb

Definition of windmill

transitive verb
:to cause to move like a windmill
intransitive verb
:to move like a windmill; especially :to spin from the force of wind

Recent Examples of windmill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'windmill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of windmill

1914



WINDMILL Defined for English Language Learners

windmill

noun

Definition of windmill for English Language Learners

  • : a structure that has parts which are turned around by the wind and that is used to produce power, pump water, etc.


WINDMILL Defined for Kids

windmill

noun wind·mill \ ˈwind-ˌmil \

Definition of windmill for Students

:a mill or a machine (as for pumping water) worked by the wind turning sails or vanes at the top of a tower


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