Origin of cyclone
OTHER WORDS FROM cyclonemin·i·cy·clone, nounpre·cy·clone, noun
Words nearby cyclone
CYCLONE VS. HURRICANE VS. TYPHOON
What’s the difference between a cyclone, a hurricane, and a typhoon?
Although the word cyclone is often used to refer to a big storm, it is, technically speaking, a large-scale, atmospheric wind-and-pressure system characterized by low pressure at its center and by circular wind motion. Because these generally produce clouds and precipitation, cyclones are often simply referred to as storms. When such storms form around the tropics, they are called tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are classified based on their strength. They may start as tropical depressions and progress to tropical storms. The most severe tropical cyclones—those with winds of 74 mph (119 k/mh) or more—are called hurricanes or typhoons. Which term is used depends on where the storm occurs.
Generally, storms that form over the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico are called hurricanes, while those that form over the Pacific Ocean are called typhoons. (The word hurricane is sometimes used for storms that form over the eastern or central North Pacific Ocean.)
Cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
In casual use, the word cyclone is sometimes used to refer to a tornado (but it is not used this way in scientific contexts).
Here’s an example of cyclone, hurricane, and typhoon used correctly in a sentence.
Example: There have been many devastating cyclones this season, including a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and multiple typhoons in the Pacific.
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons.
Quiz yourself on cyclone vs. hurricane vs. typhoon!
Should cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon be used in the following sentence?
Meteorologists are tracking a _____ that has formed in the Atlantic Ocean with winds exceeding 100 mph.
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)
Derived forms of cyclonecyclonic (saɪˈklɒnɪk), cyclonical or cyclonal, adjectivecyclonically, adverb
Word Origin for cyclone
British Dictionary definitions for cyclone (2 of 2)
Scientific definitions for cyclone
A Closer Look
Technically, a cyclone is nothing more than a region of low pressure around which air flows in an inward spiral. In the Northern Hemisphere the air moves counterclockwise around the low-pressure center, and in the Southern Hemisphere the air travels clockwise. Meteorologists also refer to tropical cyclones, which are cyclonic low-pressure systems that develop over warm water. For a tropical cyclone to originate, a large area of ocean must have a surface temperature greater than 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Tropical cyclones are categorized based on the strength of their sustained surface winds. They may begin as a tropical depression, with winds less than 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. Tropical storms are identified and tracked once the winds exceed this speed. Severe tropical cyclones, with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater, are better known as hurricanes when they occur in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, or as typhoons when they happen in the Pacific Ocean. Because the word cyclone broadly defines a kind of air flow, cyclones are not confined to our planet. In 1999 the Hubble Space Telescope photographed a cyclone more than 1,610 kilometers (1,000 miles) across in the northern polar regions of Mars.
Cultural definitions for cyclone
Any circular wind motion. A region of low atmospheric pressure. Also, a tropical storm.