dust devil


a small whirlwind 10–100 feet (3–30 meters) in diameter and from several hundred to 1000 feet (305 meters) high, common in dry regions on hot, calm afternoons and made visible by the dust, debris, and sand it picks up from the ground.

Origin of dust devil

First recorded in 1890–95
Also called dust whirl.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dust devil

  • Perchance, for no mere erratic “dust-devil” is yonder cloud.

    Aletta|Bertram Mitford
  • Your enemy comes upon you like a dust-devil—he appears, strikes, wins or loses, and then disappears again as suddenly as he came.

    On the Heels of De Wet|The Intelligence Officer

British Dictionary definitions for dust devil

dust devil


a strong miniature whirlwind that whips up dust, litter, leaves, etc into the air

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