zephyr

noun zeph·yr \ ˈze-fər \

Definition of zephyr

1 a : a breeze from the west
b : a gentle breeze
2 : any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing

zephyr was our Word of the Day on 03/20/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of zephyr in a Sentence

  1. a summer zephyr gently stirred her hair

Recent Examples of zephyr from the Web

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

Did You Know?

For centuries, poets have eulogized Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind, and his "swete breeth" (in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer). Zephyrus, the personified west wind, eventually evolved into zephyr, a word for a breeze that is westerly or gentle, or both. Breezy zephyr may have blown into English with the help of William Shakespeare, who used the word in his 1611 play Cymbeline: "Thou divine Nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st / In these two princely boys! They are as gentle / As zephyrs blowing below the violet." Today, zephyr is also the sobriquet of a lightweight fabric and the clothing that is made from it.

Origin and Etymology of zephyr

Middle English Zephirus, west wind (personified), from Latin Zephyrus, god of the west wind & zephyrus west wind, zephyr, from Greek Zephyros & zephyros

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms


ZEPHYR Defined for English Language Learners

zephyr

noun

Definition of zephyr for English Language Learners

  • : a very slight or gentle wind


ZEPHYR Defined for Kids

zephyr

noun zeph·yr \ ˈze-fər \

Definition of zephyr for Students

: a gentle breeze


Seen and Heard

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