Meteorology. a large-scale, atmospheric wind-and-pressure system characterized by low pressure at its center and by circular wind motion, counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.: Compare anticyclone, extratropical cyclone, subtropical cyclone, tropical cyclone.
(not in technical use) tornado (def. 1).
Also called cy·clone col·lec·tor [sahy-klohn kuh-lek-ter], /ˈsaɪ kloʊn kəˌlɛk tər/, cy·clone sep·a·ra·tor [sahy-klohn sep-uh-rey-ter]. /ˈsaɪ kloʊn ˌsɛp əˌreɪ tər/. Machinery. a device for removing small or powdered solids from air, water, or other gases or liquids by centrifugal force.
Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
- min·i·cy·clone, noun
- pre·cy·clone, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cyclone in a sentence
Very warm ocean waters, such as in the Atlantic Ocean this year, foster tropical cyclone formation.Wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes broke all kinds of records in 2020 | Carolyn Gramling | December 21, 2020 | Science News
That’s because the intense winds of cyclones feed on moisture and heat picked up from the warm waters, and warmer air can also hold more moisture.Once hurricanes make landfall, they’re lingering longer and staying stronger | Carolyn Gramling | November 11, 2020 | Science News
In its annual report, India’s central bank stated that the country is witnessing more intense droughts, downward shifts in average rainfall as well as a higher frequency of cyclones.How climate change will hurt India’s already wounded economy | Prathamesh Mulye | September 8, 2020 | Quartz
The strength of a tropical cyclone is defined by its wind speeds.
Even worse, rain can fall in extreme amounts, especially during hurricanes and cyclones.
Tropical cyclone Oswald has produced a blanketing of sea foam in parts of Queensland, Australia.
The courtroom itself is surrounded by high cyclone fences, braided with coiled razor wire, and watched by heavily armed guards.
On Ren, the guard, he descended like a young cyclone, with warnings for mademoiselle's safety and comfort.The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
What a cyclone there is going to be to-morrow when this piece of paper gets to work!A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
It is only a cyclone that seems to be able to overthrow a sound tree, and then it more commonly breaks its trunk than uproots it.
"Hope we're not in for a cyclone," says one of the men, appearing out of the smoking-room with a pipe in his mouth.Round the Wonderful World | G. E. Mitton
When Molly arrived the next morning, she flew into the house like a small and well-wrapped-up cyclone.Marjorie's Busy Days | Carolyn Wells
British Dictionary definitions for cyclone (1 of 2)
another name for depression (def. 6)
a violent tropical storm; hurricane
- cyclonic (saɪˈklɒnɪk), cyclonical or cyclonal, adjective
- cyclonically, adverb
British Dictionary definitions for Cyclone (2 of 2)
trademark Australian and NZ (of fencing) made of interlaced wire and metal
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
Scientific definitions for cyclone
A large-scale system of winds that spiral in toward a region of low atmospheric pressure. A cyclone's rotational direction is opposite to that of an anticyclone. In the Northern hemisphere, a cyclone rotates counterclockwise; in the Southern hemisphere, clockwise. Because low-pressure systems generally produce clouds and precipitation, cyclones are often simply referred to as storms.♦ An extratropical cyclone is one that forms outside the tropics at middle or high latitudes. Extratropical cyclones usually have an organized front and migrate eastward with the prevailing westerly winds of those latitudes.♦ A tropical cyclone forms over warm tropical waters and is generally smaller than an extratropical cyclone. Such a system is characterized by a warm, well-defined core and can range in intensity from a tropical depression to a hurricane. Compare anticyclone.
A small-scale, violently rotating windstorm, such as a tornado or waterspout. Not in scientific use.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for cyclone
Any circular wind motion. A region of low atmospheric pressure. Also, a tropical storm.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.