- (on the west coast of Africa) a dry, parching land breeze, charged with dust.
Origin of harmattan
1665–75; said to be < Twi haramata
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for harmattan
This harmattan, by the way, is a bit of a meteorological mystery.
The harmattan prevails for several days in succession, and alternates with winds from the south and south-west.
The dry east wind known as the harmattan blows intermittently from December to March.
The mean temperature in the dry season, when the “harmattan” is frequent, is 62 Fahr., in the wet season 86.
Those storms which are accompanied with a clear sky, as the northers of the Gulf of Mexico, the harmattan of Africa, &c.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
- a dry dusty wind from the Sahara blowing towards the W African coast, esp from November to March
C17: from Twi haramata, perhaps from Arabic harām forbidden thing; see harem