[ hed-wind ]

  1. a wind opposed to the course of a moving object, especially an aircraft or other vehicle (opposed to tailwind).

Origin of headwind

First recorded in 1780–90; (a)head + wind1

Words Nearby headwind

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use headwind in a sentence

  • But we do not live in that world, and that is a headwind pushing against currents of balance, growth, and repair.

    Why Markets Freak Out | Zachary Karabell | August 12, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Webb—or any Virginia Democrat—would be running into quite a headwind in 2012.

    Why the Dems Could Lose the Senate Next | Samuel P. Jacobs | November 16, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Ascending steadily against a continuous headwind, we picked up the second sledge at midday on the 28th.

    The Home of the Blizzard | Douglas Mawson
  • Travelling between the cataracts against a strong headwind was slow work and we longed for the next one to get along faster.

  • The men at the oars now made hard work of it against the headwind and the running sea.

    Frontier Boys on the Coast | Capt. Wyn Roosevelt
  • Next morning we set out, slowly floating with a little headwind, through a fog.

    The houseboat book | William F. Waugh
  • With a cold headwind on the starboard quarter, we hug the lee of the Ohio shore.

    Afloat on the Ohio | Reuben Gold Thwaites

British Dictionary definitions for headwind


/ (ˈhɛdˌwɪnd) /

  1. a wind blowing directly against the course of an aircraft or ship: Compare tailwind

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 headwind


  1. A wind blowing directly against the course of a moving object, especially an aircraft or ship.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.