monsoon

[mon-soon]
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noun
  1. the seasonal wind of the Indian Ocean and southern Asia, blowing from the southwest in summer and from the northeast in winter.
  2. (in India and nearby lands) the season during which the southwest monsoon blows, commonly marked by heavy rains; rainy season.
  3. any wind that changes directions with the seasons.
  4. any persistent wind established between water and adjoining land.

Origin of monsoon

1575–85; < Dutch monssoen (now obsolete) < Portuguese monção, earlier moução < Arabic mawsim season
Related formsmon·soon·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for monsoon

monsoon

noun
  1. a seasonal wind of S Asia that blows from the southwest in summer, bringing heavy rains, and from the northeast in winter
  2. the rainy season when the SW monsoon blows, from about April to October
  3. any wind that changes direction with the seasons
Derived Formsmonsoonal, adjective

Word Origin for monsoon

C16: from obsolete Dutch monssoen, from Portuguese monção, from Arabic mawsim season
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

Word Origin and History for monsoon
n.

1580s, "trade wind of the Indian Ocean," from Dutch monssoen, from Portuguese monçao, from Arabic mawsim "time of year, appropriate season" (for a voyage, pilgrimage, etc.), from wasama "he marked." When it blows from the southwest (April through October) it brings heavy rain, hence "heavy episode of rainfall during the rainy season" (1747).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

monsoon in Science

monsoon

[mŏn-sōōn]
  1. A system of winds that influences the climate of a large area and that reverses direction with the seasons. Monsoons are caused primarily by the much greater annual variation in temperature over large areas of land than over large areas of adjacent ocean water. This variation causes an excess of atmospheric pressure over the continents in the winter, and a deficit in the summer. The disparity causes strong winds to blow between the ocean and the land, bringing heavy seasonal rainfall.
  2. In southern Asia, a wind that is part of such a system and that blows from the southwest in the summer and usually brings heavy rains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

monsoon in Culture

monsoon

A wind system that affects large climatic regions and reverses direction seasonally.

Note

The Asiatic monsoon brings heavy rains to Southeast Asia in spring and summer.
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.