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[hur-i-keyn, huhr- or, esp. British, -kuh n] /ˈhɜr ɪˌkeɪn, ˈhʌr- or, esp. British, -kən/
a violent, tropical, cyclonic storm of the western North Atlantic, having wind speeds of or in excess of 72 miles per hour (32 m/sec).
a storm of the most intense severity.
anything suggesting a violent storm.
(initial capital letter) Military. a single-seat British fighter plane of World War II, fitted with eight .303 caliber machine guns and with a top speed in excess of 300 miles per hour (480 km/h).
Origin of hurricane
1545-55; < Spanish huracán < Taino hurakán
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hurricane
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rain, falling in a deluge, was driven by a wind like a hurricane.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • The wind swelled to a hurricane, and the rain dashed like a flood against the glass.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • If the hurricane swept away our tent, I dont know where we should find it again.

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
  • It was like a hurricane of delirium rushing by and laying every head in the dust.

  • The hurricane, the most furious ever felt in the province, lasted three days.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
British Dictionary definitions for hurricane


/ˈhʌrɪkən; -keɪn/
a severe, often destructive storm, esp a tropical cyclone
  1. a wind of force 12 or above on the Beaufort scale
  2. (as modifier): a wind of hurricane force
anything acting like such a wind
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish huracán, from Taino hurakán, from hura wind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hurricane

1550s, a partially deformed adoptation from Spanish huracan (Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés, "Historia General y Natural de las Indias," 1547-9), furacan (in the works of Pedro Mártir De Anghiera, chaplain to the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and historian of Spanish explorations), from an Arawakan (W. Indies) word. In Portuguese, it became furacão. For confusion of initial -f- and -h- in Spanish, see hacienda. The word is first in English in Richard Eden's "Decades of the New World":

These tempestes of the ayer (which the Grecians caule Tiphones ...) they caule furacanes.
OED records 39 different spellings, mostly from the late 16c., including forcane, herrycano, harrycain, hurlecane. Modern form became frequent from 1650, established after 1688. Shakespeare uses hurricano ("King Lear," "Troilus and Cressida"), but in reference to waterspouts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hurricane in Science

A severe, rotating tropical storm with heavy rains and cyclonic winds exceeding 74 mi (119 km) per hour, especially such a storm occurring in the Northern Hemisphere. Hurricanes originate in the tropical parts of the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea and move generally northward. They lose force when they move over land or colder ocean waters. See Note at cyclone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hurricane in Culture

hurricane definition

A large tropical storm system with high-powered circular winds. (See cyclone and eye of a hurricane.)

Note: Between July and October, hurricanes cause extensive damage along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. (See Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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