[ hur-i-keyn, huhr- or, esp. British, -kuh n ]
/ ˈhɜr ɪˌkeɪn, ˈhʌr- or, esp. British, -kən /


a violent, tropical, cyclonic storm of the western North Atlantic, having wind speeds of or in excess of 72 miles per hour (32 m/sec).Compare tropical cyclone, typhoon.
a storm of the most intense severity.
anything suggesting a violent storm.
(initial capital letter) Military. a single-seat British fighter plane of World War II, fitted with eight .303 caliber machine guns and with a top speed in excess of 300 miles per hour (480 km/h).

Origin of hurricane

1545–55; < Spanish huracán < Taino hurakán


cyclone hurricane tidal wave tornado tsunami typhoon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for hurricane

British Dictionary definitions for hurricane

/ (ˈhʌrɪkən, -keɪn) /


a severe, often destructive storm, esp a tropical cyclone
  1. a wind of force 12 or above on the Beaufort scale
  2. (as modifier)a wind of hurricane force
anything acting like such a wind

Word Origin for hurricane

C16: from Spanish huracán, from Taino hurakán, from hura wind
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 hurricane

[ hûrĭ-kān′ ]

A severe, rotating tropical storm with heavy rains and cyclonic winds exceeding 74 mi (119 km) per hour, especially such a storm occurring in the Northern Hemisphere. Hurricanes originate in the tropical parts of the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea and move generally northward. They lose force when they move over land or colder ocean waters. See Note at cyclone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for hurricane


A large tropical storm system with high-powered circular winds. (See cyclone and eye of a hurricane.)

notes for hurricane

Between July and October, hurricanes cause extensive damage along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. (See Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.)
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.