[ kat-uh-bat-ik ]
/ ˌkæt əˈbæt ɪk /

adjective Meteorology.

(of a wind or air current) moving downward or down a slope.Compare anabatic(def 1).

Words nearby katabatic

Origin of katabatic

1915–20; < Greek katabatikós pertaining to going down, equivalent to kata- kata- + ba- (stem of baínein to go; see basis) + -tikos -tic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for katabatic

/ (ˌkætəˈbætɪk) /


(of winds) blowing downhill through having become denser with cooling, esp at night when heat is lost from the earth's surfaceCompare anabatic
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

Science definitions for katabatic

[ kăt′ə-bătĭk ]

Relating to wind currents that blow down a gradient, especially down the slopes of a mountain or glacier. When air comes in contact with the cool surface of a glacier or the upper regions of a mountain or slope, the air cools, becomes dense, and blows downward. Katabatic winds are usually cool and are especially common at night in polar regions. Compare anabatic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.