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90s Slang You Should Know


[zef-er] /ˈzɛf ər/
a gentle, mild breeze.
(initial capital letter) Literary. the west wind.
any of various things of fine, light quality, as fabric, yarn, etc.
Origin of zephyr
before 1000 for def 2; Middle English < Latin zephyrus < Greek zéphyros the west wind; replacing Middle English zeferus, zephirus, Old English zefferus < Latin as above
1. See wind1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for zephyr
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The irruption of Bennie and zephyr threatened disaster even to this forlorn hope.

    Blue Goose Frank Lewis Nason
  • As the zephyr shot past him, a long, loud cheer burst from her crew.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
  • Fred took the boat-hook, and went forward to the bow of the zephyr.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
  • "I suppose they got sick of it when they saw the zephyr," suggested Fred Harper.

    The Boat Club Oliver Optic
  • Even if he made breaks with zephyr, he would be no worse off.

    Blue Goose Frank Lewis Nason
British Dictionary definitions for zephyr


a soft or gentle breeze
any of several delicate soft yarns, fabrics, or garments, usually of wool
Word Origin
C16: from Latin zephyrus, from Greek zephuros the west wind; probably related to Greek zophos darkness, west
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 zephyr

mid-14c., from Old English Zefferus, from Latin Zephyrus, from Greek Zephyros "the west wind" (sometimes personified as a god), probably related to zophos "the west, the dark region, darkness, gloom." Sense of "mild breeze" is c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zephyr in Culture
Zephyr [(zef-uhr)]

The Greek and Roman god of the west wind, considered the most pleasant of the winds.

The American Heritage® 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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