Meaning of WIND in English


I. wind 1 S2 W2 /wɪnd/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ]

1 . AIR [uncountable and countable] ( also the wind ) moving air, especially when it moves strongly or quickly in a current ⇨ windy :

The wind blew from the northeast.

Planes were unable to take off because of high winds.

⇨ ↑ crosswind , ↑ downwind , ↑ headwind , ↑ tailwind , ↑ trade wind , ↑ upwind

2 . get/have wind of something informal to hear or find out about something secret or private:

You’d better hope the press doesn’t get wind of this.

3 . BREATH [uncountable] your ability to breathe normally

get your wind (back) (=be able to breathe normally again, for example after running)

knock the wind out of somebody (=hit someone in the stomach so that they cannot breathe for a moment) ⇨ second wind at ↑ second 1 (12), ⇨ ↑ windpipe

4 . IN YOUR STOMACH [uncountable] British English the condition of having air or gas in your stomach or ↑ intestine s , or the air or gas itself SYN gas American English :

I can’t drink beer – it gives me wind.

‘What’s wrong with the baby?’ ‘Just a little wind.’

5 . take the wind out of sb’s sails informal to make someone lose their confidence, especially by saying or doing something unexpected

6 . see which way the wind is blowing to find out what the situation is before you do something or make a decision

7 . something is in the wind used to say that something is happening or going to happen, but the details are not clear:

If there was a merger in the wind, I’m sure we’d hear about it.

8 . winds of change/freedom/public opinion etc used to refer to things that have important effects, and that cannot be stopped:

The winds of change are blowing through the entire organization.

9 . put the wind up somebody/get the wind up British English informal if you put the wind up someone, you make them feel anxious or frightened. If you get the wind up, you become anxious or frightened:

The threat of legal action will be enough to put the wind up them.

10 . MUSIC the winds/the wind section the people in an ↑ orchestra or band who play musical instruments that you blow through, such as a ↑ flute

11 . like the wind if someone or something moves or runs like the wind, they move or run very quickly:

She ran like the wind down the stairs to escape.

12 . TALK [uncountable] British English informal talk that does not mean anything

⇨ break wind at ↑ break 1 (31), ⇨ it’s an ill wind (that blows nobody any good) at ↑ ill 1 (4), ⇨ sail close to the wind at ↑ sail 1 (6), ⇨ straw in the wind at ↑ straw (5)

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ strong

The wind was so strong he could hardly stand.

▪ light/gentle (=not strong)

Winds tomorrow will be light.

▪ high winds (=strong wind)

High winds are making driving conditions difficult.

▪ a cold/chill wind

There was a cold wind this afternoon.

▪ an icy/biting/bitter wind (=very cold)

She shivered in the icy wind.

▪ a gusty/blustery wind (=not blowing steadily)

A blustery wind was sending light flurries of rain against the window.

▪ a fresh wind British English (=quite cold and strong)

It will feel colder in places exposed to a fresh northeasterly wind.

▪ a 20-/40-mile-an-hour wind

The walkers struggled in 35-mile-an-hour winds.

▪ gale force/hurricane force winds (=very strong)

He was buffeted by the gale force winds.

▪ the north/south etc wind (=coming from the north etc)

They sought shelter from the north wind.

▪ a northerly/southerly etc wind (=coming from the north etc)

A fresh northerly wind was speeding the ship southwards.

▪ the prevailing wind (=the most frequent wind in an area)

The prevailing wind comes from the west.

■ verbs

▪ the wind blows

A cold wind was blowing.

▪ the wind picks up ( also the wind gets up British English ) (=becomes stronger)

The rain beat down and the wind was picking up.

▪ the wind drops/dies down (=becomes less strong)

The wind had dropped a little.

▪ the wind howls (=makes a lot of noise)

The wind howled round the house all night.

▪ the wind changes (=starts blowing from a different direction)

The wind had to change before his fighting ships could sail against the Spanish.

■ phrases

▪ a gust of wind

A gust of wind rattled the window.

▪ be blowing/swaying/flapping etc in the wind

The trees were all swaying in the wind.

■ wind + NOUN

▪ wind speed

Wind speeds of up to 80 miles an hour were recorded.

• • •


▪ wind air moving in a current, especially strongly or quickly:

A cold wind was blowing from the east.


Strong winds caused damage to many buildings.

▪ breeze a gentle pleasant wind:

The trees were moving gently in the breeze.


A slight breeze ruffled her hair.

▪ draught British English , draft American English /drɑːft $ dræft/ a current of cool air which blows into a room, especially one that makes you feel uncomfortable:

There’s a bit of a draught in here – can you close the door?

■ a strong wind

▪ gale a very strong wind:

The ship was blown off course in a severe gale.


Howling gales and torrential rain continued throughout the night.

▪ hurricane a storm that has very strong fast winds and that moves over water – used about storms in the North Atlantic Ocean:

The hurricane devastated Florida and killed at least 40 people.

▪ typhoon a violent tropical storm – used about storms in the Western Pacific Ocean:

A typhoon has hit the Philippines, lifting roofs off houses and uprooting trees.

▪ tornado ( also twister American English informal ) a violent storm with strong winds that spin very quickly in a circle, often forming a cloud that is narrower at the bottom than the top:

The town was hit by a tornado that damaged several homes.

▪ cyclone a violent tropical storm with strong winds that spin in a circle:

A devastating cyclone struck Bangladesh in April that year.


This cyclone was traveling at speeds in excess of 21 miles per hour.

II. wind 2 S3 W3 /waɪnd/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle wound /waʊnd/)

1 . [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to turn or twist something several times around something else

wind something around/round something

The hair is divided into sections and wound around heated rods.

2 . [transitive] ( also wind up ) to turn part of a machine around several times, in order to make it move or start working:

Did you remember to wind the clock?

3 . [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a road, river etc winds somewhere, it has many smooth bends and is usually very long

wind (its way) through/along etc something

Highway 99 winds its way along the coast.

a winding path

4 . [transitive] to make a tape move in a machine

wind something forward/back

Can you wind the video back a little way – I want to see that bit again.

⇨ ↑ rewind

—wind noun [countable]

wind down phrasal verb

1 . wind something ↔ down to gradually reduce the work of a business or organization so that it can be closed down completely

2 . to rest and relax after a lot of hard work or excitement:

I find it difficult to wind down after a day at work.

3 . wind something ↔ down British English to make something, especially a car window, move down by turning a handle or pressing a button

wind up phrasal verb

1 . to bring an activity, meeting etc to an end:

OK, just to wind up, could I summarize what we’ve decided?

wind something ↔ up

It’s time to wind things up – I have a plane to catch.

2 . wind something ↔ up to close down a company or organization:

Our operations in Jamaica are being wound up.

3 . [linking verb] informal to be in an unpleasant situation or place after a lot has happened SYN end up

wind up in/at/with etc

You know you’re going to wind up in court over this.

wind up doing something

I wound up wishing I’d never come.

4 . wind somebody ↔ up British English to deliberately say or do something that will annoy or worry someone, as a joke ⇨ tease :

They’re only winding you up.

⇨ ↑ wound up

5 . wind something ↔ up to turn part of a machine around several times, in order to make it move or start working

6 . wind something ↔ up British English to make something, especially a car window, move up by turning a handle or pressing a button:

Could you wind the window up, please?

III. wind 3 /wɪnd/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle winded ) [transitive]

to make someone have difficulty breathing, as a result of falling on something or being hit:

The fall winded him and he lay still for a moment.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.