Meaning of WIND in English


I. ˈwind, chiefly poetic ˈwīnd noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English wind, winde, from Old English wind; akin to Old High German wint wind, Old Norse vindr, Gothic winds, Latin ventus; all from a prehistoric Indo-European participial stem from the root represented by Old English wāwan to blow, Old High German wāen, Gothic waian, Greek aēnai, Sanskrit vāti it blows, vāta wind


a. : a natural movement of air of any velocity ; especially : air in natural motion parallel to the surface of the earth

a light wind had come up

the winds devastated the city

— compare current

b. : an artificially produced movement of air

felt the wind of a bullet as it passed his temple — C.B.Kelland


a. : a destructive force or influence

the wind of war had swept his home away — Stuart Cloete

sow the wind and reap the whirlwind

b. : a force or agency that carries along or influences

withstood the winds of popular opinion — Felix Frankfurter

the bracing winds of human sympathy and understanding — J.D.Adams

c. : tendency , trend

quick perception of the way campus winds were blowing — Arnold Nicholson

too much impressed by current theological winds — I.G.Whitchurch



(1) : the air that is inhaled and exhaled by the lungs : breath

leaned there on the cable, catching his wind — Wright Morris

smote him with brutal violence in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him — Dorothy Sayers

(2) : power of respiration : ability to breathe properly

established his own studio for the businessman anxious about his weight and his wind — D.G.Villard

wind and leg muscles — Athletic Journal

(3) : the pit of the stomach where a blow may paralyze the diaphragm and cause temporary loss of breath : solar plexus

hit a small boy in the wind to see him double up — W.B.Yeats

b. : breath used in speaking

wrote … in sonorous and rolling sentences in which one can still hear the wind of his oratory — Marjory S. Douglas

4. : gas generated in the stomach or the intestines


a. : compressed air or gas

was considered a little balmy when he seriously proposed stopping a train with wind — W.J.Reilly

b. archaic : air

the sword itself must be wrapped up close … that it taketh no wind — Francis Bacon

6. : something that is insubstantial: as

a. : mere talk : idle words

talks about erasing the border by a march on the North. This is mere wind . There will be no march — J.V.Kelleher

b. : nothing , nothingness

theories based on wind

c. : vain self-satisfaction

all puffed up with wind


a. : air carrying a scent (as of a hunter or game)

a great number of deer … entirely ignorant of anything amiss till after they passed me and received my wind — Ed Shearer

b. archaic : exposure to the public : currency — used with get or take

the project had taken wind and created a general sensation — W.H.Prescott

c. : slight information especially about something intended to be kept secret : intimation

the unhappy reporters who by this time had got wind of something and turned up in battalions — Dorothy Sayers

caught wind of this situation — Richard Hellman


a. : air used for producing musical tone: as

(1) : breath passed through the vocal organs in singing

(2) : breath used to blow a wind instrument

(3) : the compressed air used to produce sound on an organ


(1) : musical wind instruments especially as distinguished from strings and percussion

music for strings and for wind — D.W.Stevens

the triplets played by the winds — Max Rudolf

a good deal of wind detail is lost — Edward Sackville-West & Desmond Shawe-Taylor

(2) winds plural : the players of wind instruments especially in an orchestra


a. : a direction from which the wind may blow : a point of the compass ; especially : one of the cardinal points

come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain — Ezek 37:9 (Revised Standard Version)

b. : the direction from which the wind is blowing — used especially with regard to a sailing ship's course

10. : a condition of oblivion, ineffectualness, or waste — usually used in plural

cast the facts of royal history to the winds and invented his own essential drama — Leslie Rees

went through deep snow, all anxiety thrown to the four winds — D.B.MacMillan

11. : money

came to me this morning to raise the wind — Anthony Trollope

12. : a state of intoxication

I'm not in the wind at all events, for you see I'm perfectly sober — Frederick Marryat

— compare sheet in the wind

13. : a big fuss : disturbance

raised the wind over the inferior merchandise


a. : a state of fear — used with up

deathtraps, hard to fly, easy to crash … good pilots had their wind up about the planes — H.H.Arnold & I.C.Eaker

you put the wind up me — Richard Llewellyn

b. : a state of nervous irritable excitement — used with up

got their wind up about the neighbors' new fence


breeze , gale , hurricane , gust , blast , squall , zephyr , whirlwind , cyclone , typhoon , tornado , waterspout , twister : wind is a general term applicable to air in any sort of natural motion

light western winds

winds of gale force

breeze is applicable to a relatively light but fresh wind with moderate velocity, often to a pleasing wind

not a steady, strong breeze like the trade winds of the low latitudes, but a boisterous stormy wind — P.E.James

enjoying the brisk breeze that blew about his yellow hair — William Black

gale indicates a high wind, one between a breeze and a hurricane, sometimes of destructive force

not an inch of shelter anywhere in a gale, and the salt rain driven by the wind penetrates the thickest coat — Richard Jefferies

hurricane indicates a wind of maximum velocity and consequent destructive violence

towns and villages wrecked by the hurricane

gust indicates a sudden short wind, usually more severe than a puff, often accompanied by rain

a great gust of wind shook the windows of the house — J.C.Powys

blast may indicate a sudden wind with severe driving force

a copse of dark firs swayed uneasily under the heavy blasts of the gathering storm — F.V.W.Mason

squall refers to any sudden violent gust, especially to a sea gust with driving force

continuous and violent squalls nearly wrecked the craft — Alexander Klemin

zephyr indicates a light gentle delicate wind, one that would not disturb halcyon weather

soft the zephyr blows — Thomas Gray

whirlwind may apply to any swirling wind; technically it indicates a rotating windstorm with the lower air spiraling inward and upward

the whirlwind came fast. I could see the tops of the trees writhing and twisting — John Onslow

cyclone often indicates a rotating system of very high destructive winds about a moving center of low pressure

cyclones like those that lift roofs off houses in Kansas — Waldemar Kaempffert

typhoon is used in reference to cyclones in Asian Pacific waters

typhoons in Joseph Conrad's novels

tornado refers to a swirling wind accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud moving with a force so violent that it cannot be measured accurately

Kansas takes to the cyclone cellar when a tornado sweeps by and sucks wells dry — Waldemar Kaempffert

waterspout indicates a funnel-shaped or tubular column of wind enclosing a quantity of water. twister is a general informal term for any swirling wind like a tornado or waterspout

the first twisters hit in the early evening — Time

when a twister had come at home, all the windows in Mr. Dannenbaum's house had been blown out — Jean Stafford

- between wind and water

- by the wind

- down the wind

- have in the wind

- have the wind of

- in the wind

- near the wind

- off the wind

- under the wind

II. ˈwind verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English winden, from wind (I)

transitive verb

1. : to smell the scent of : follow by the scent

an otter could wind a fish at 40 furlongs — C.E.Hare

2. : to expose to the air or wind : dry by exposing to air

3. dialect chiefly Britain : winnow

4. : to take the breath away from : make short of breath

her hoof hit my side and winded me — Adrian Bell

until acclimated, a person becomes winded from exertion — Bob Koonce

5. : to regulate the wind supply of (an organ pipe)

6. : to rest (as a horse) in order to allow the breath to be recovered

intransitive verb

1. : to scent game : sniff in the air as if catching the scent of game — used of an animal and especially of a dog

2. dialect : to pause for breath

III. ˈwīnd, ˈwind verb

( winded -də̇d ; or wound ˈwau̇nd ; winded or wound ; winding ; winds )

Etymology: wind (I) (but often altered in pronunciation & conjugation by influence of wind ) (IV)

transitive verb

1. : to cause (as a horn) to sound by blowing especially with the breath : blow

little fishing boats wind their conchs — Mary H. Vorse

2. : to sound (as a call or note) on or as if on a horn

wound a rousing call — R.L.Stevenson

intransitive verb

: to produce a sound on or as if on a horn

IV. ˈwīnd verb

( wound ˈwau̇nd ; also winded ; wound also winded ; winding ; winds )

Etymology: Middle English winden, from Old English windan to turn, twist, move with speed or force, brandish; akin to Old High German wintan to wind, Old Norse vinda, Gothic bi windan to wind around, wrap, us windan to plait, Umbrian oha vendu let him turn aside, Armenian gind ring; basic meaning: twist

intransitive verb

1. obsolete


(1) : to move with speed or force : rush , spring

(2) : pass

b. : go , proceed

wind away, be gone I say — Shakespeare

2. archaic : wriggle , squirm , writhe

3. : to bend out of a flat plane : warp


a. obsolete : to move in a curve

a creature that I teach to fight, to wind , to stop, to run directly on — Shakespeare

b. : to have a curving course or shape : extend in curves

a small road that wound up through pines — G.W.Brace

the staircase wound round this hall — Margaret Deland

a cave which winds far into the cliff — A.A.Grace

c. : to move on a curving especially sinuous course

the river winds down through rugged terrain

a long caravan of cars wound through the streets — Phoenix Flame

within the lines of these universal qualities wind the divergencies of medieval thought — H.O.Taylor


a. : to move so as to encircle

loose tapes which wind around the baby's limbs — Morris Fishbein

b. : to exhibit the defective gait of winding


a. : to change the direction toward which the prow is headed : turn when lying at anchor

b. : to lie with the prow headed toward a designated point of the compass

7. of a horse : to turn or veer to the left : haw

transitive verb


a. obsolete : to make by or as if by twisting, plaiting, or weaving : weave

b. : to bring into a close relationship as if by weaving or wrapping : entangle , involve , enmesh

the greatest crises of life steal on us imperceptibly and have sometimes … wound us in their consequences before we know — William Black

— often used with up

compassion … is intricately wound up with the doctrine of right living — Edmond Taylor

c. : to introduce sinuously or stealthily : insinuate

the impulse to know … winds itself into every action — H.O.Taylor

d. obsolete : to put (as money) into circulation : circulate

2. archaic : to hold in the hand and use : wield , handle


a. : to encircle or cover with something pliable : bind with or as if with loops of string or layers of cloth

wound the top with a new piece of string

the women were wound up in fishtailed skirts — G.H.Reed b. 1887

sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms — Shakespeare


(1) : to turn completely or repeatedly especially about an object with which contact is made : coil , twine , wrap

wound a heavy scarf around his neck

devised a way of winding silk on a spool — American Guide Series: New Jersey

(2) : to remove by unwinding : unwind — used with off or from

wound all the thread off the bobbin


(1) : to hoist or haul (as coal from a pit) by means of a rope, cable, or chain that is pulled by machinery — often used with up

wind up a bucket from a well — Adrian Bell

(2) : to move (a ship) by hauling (as on a capstan)


(1) : to tighten the spring of in order to start or keep running

four hours of moderate light wind the clock completely — Jewelers' Circular-Keystone

— often used with up

wound up the toy soldiers

(2) obsolete : to make tighter (as the strings of a musical instrument) : tighten , tune — often used with up

(3) : to move with a crank : crank

wound down the window on the right hand side of the car — J.M.Cain

e. : to raise to a high level (as of excitement, tension, or preparedness) — usually used with up

get so easily wound up … about these things that we could go on and on — W.F.Hambly


a. : to cause to move in a curving line : cause to follow a curving course or path

processions … wound themselves about the town in circles — Julian Dana


(1) archaic : to turn the course or direction of ; especially : to turn or lead (a person) as one wishes

can wind the proud earl to his will — Sir Walter Scott

(2) obsolete : attract , lure , entice


(1) : to cause (as a ship) to change direction : turn

(2) : to turn (as a ship) end for end

d. : to traverse on a curving course

winds the wood — John Dryden


(1) : to effect by or as if by curving

wound his way up the tree — Willa Cather

the forest through which the river winds its course — Alexander MacDonald

(2) : to follow the curving course of

enabled travelers to reach the Mississippi without winding the endless curves of the Arkansas — American Guide Series: Arkansas

f. : to turn (a horse) to the left


twist , twine , entwine , coil , curl , wreathe agree with wind in referring either to a circular, spiral, or writhing motion or to a curved and bent outline or shape; wind especially emphasizes action or motion, originally an even-paced, repeated turning about a fixed point, now frequently a rambling or climbing in serpentine curves over an extended area

wind thread or tape on a reel

the road winds along the river

twist orig. and basically is to turn two threads about each other; it retains the suggestion of revolving within a narrow compass or of an outline having many small kinks rather than describing large loops or curves

the train wound around the mountain

the dancer twisted slowly about herself

a winding river

a winding staircase

twine orig. is close to twist but does not have the connotation of tortuousness; it suggests something long and supple draped in spirals or loops about a solid body

the symbol of a serpent twined round a staff

vines twining about a tree may kill it

entwine is originally an intensive form of twine; it may suggest merely a complete twining about or an inextricable entanglement. coil , curl , and wreathe place less emphasis on the action or motion of bending than on the resulting shape; coil means to roll, wind, or spin in rings or spirals

she wore her hair coiled on top of her head

the waters in the maelstrom coiled and hissed

curl refers to the appearance made by a body of greater length than thickness in bending from its full extension into a shape suggesting a coil of hair, or by a flat surface in rippling and creasing

smoke curling in the blue air

curling waves tossed against the shore

lips curled in derision

wreathe may suggest creasing or crinkling

wreathed in smiles

or the assumption of a wreathy appearance

mists of night wreathe up from meadows — Walter de la Mare

V. ˈwīnd noun

( -s )

1. : a mechanism (as a winch) for winding

2. : an act or instance of winding: as


(1) : the condition of being warped or twisted

took the board out of wind

(2) : the amount of warp

b. : an act or instance of hoisting or pulling by a mechanism that winds (as a winch)

c. : an act or instance of tightening the spring of a mechanism (as a watch or clock)

d. : coil , twist , turn

e. : a particular method of winding

a very open wind is used on the size tube … to minimize thread to thread adhesion — V.A.Schiffer

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.