verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- (of a ship) at or near the water line.
- in a vulnerable or precarious spot: In her profession one is always between wind and water.
- away from the wind; with the wind at one's back.
- (of a sailing vessel) headed into the wind with sails shaking or aback.
- Also sail close on a wind.to sail as nearly as possible in the direction from which the wind is blowing.
- to practice economy in the management of one's affairs.
- to verge on a breach of propriety or decency.
- to escape (punishment, detection, etc.) by a narrow margin; take a risk.
Origin of wind1
Synonyms for wind
- a wind instrument or wind instruments considered collectively
- (often plural)the musicians who play wind instruments in an orchestra
- (modifier)of, relating to, or composed of wind instrumentsa wind ensemble
- the part of a vessel's hull below the water line that is exposed by rolling or by wave action
- any point particularly susceptible to attack or injury
- to come near the limits of danger or indecency
- to live frugally or manage one's affairs economically
- to detect the scent of
- to pursue (quarry) by following its scent
Word Origin for wind
verb winds, winding or wound
Word Origin for wind
verb winds, winding, winded or wound
Word Origin for wind
"air in motion," Old English wind, from Proto-Germanic *wendas (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch, Dutch wind, Old Norse vindr, Old High German wind, German Wind, Gothic winds), from PIE *we-nt-o- "blowing," from root *we- "to blow" (cf. Sanskrit va-, Greek aemi-, Gothic waian, Old English wawan, Old High German wajan, German wehen, Old Church Slavonic vejati "to blow;" Sanskrit vatah, Avestan vata-, Hittite huwantis, Latin ventus, Old Church Slavonic vetru, Lithuanian vejas "wind;" Lithuanian vetra "tempest, storm;" Old Irish feth "air;" Welsh gwynt, Breton gwent "wind").
Normal pronunciation evolution made this word rhyme with kind and rind (Donne rhymes it with mind), but it shifted to a short vowel 18c., probably from influence of windy, where the short vowel is natural. A sad loss for poets, who now must rhyme it only with sinned and a handful of weak words. Symbolic of emptiness and vanity since late 13c.
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind. [Ernest Dowson, 1896]
Meaning "breath" is attested from late Old English; especially "breath in speaking" (early 14c.), so long-winded, also "easy or regular breathing" (early 14c.), hence second wind in the figurative sense (by 1830), an image from the sport of hunting.
Figurative phrase which way the wind blows for "the current state of affairs" is suggested from c.1400. To get wind of "receive information about" is by 1809, perhaps inspired by French avoir le vent de. To take the wind out of (one's) sails in the figurative sense (by 1883) is an image from sailing, where a ship without wind can make no progress. Wind-chill index is recorded from 1939. Wind energy from 1976. Wind vane from 1725.
"move by turning and twisting," Old English windan "to turn, twist, wind" (class III strong verb; past tense wand, past participle wunden), from Proto-Germanic *wendanan (cf. Old Saxon windan, Old Norse vinda, Old Frisian winda, Dutch winden, Old High German wintan, German winden, Gothic windan "to wind"), from PIE *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (cf. Latin viere "twist, plait, weave," vincire "bind;" Lithuanian vyti "twist, wind").
Related to wend, which is its causative form, and to wander. Wind down "come to a conclusion" is recorded from 1952; wind up "come to a conclusion" is from 1825. Winding sheet "shroud of a corpse" is attested from early 15c.
"to perceive by scent, get wind of," early 15c., from wind (n.1). Of horns, etc., "make sound by blowing through," from 1580s. Meaning "tire, put out of breath; render temporarily breathless by a blow or punch" is from 1811, originally in pugilism. Related: Winded; winding.
"an act of winding round," 1825, from wind (v.1) . Earlier, "an apparatus for winding," late 14c., in which use perhaps from a North Sea Germanic word, e.g. Middle Dutch, Middle Low German winde "windlass."
sail close to the wind
Be on the verge of doing something illegal or improper, as in She was sailing pretty close to the wind when she called him a liar. This term alludes to the danger incurred when literally sailing too close to (that is, in the direction of) the wind. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1800s.
In addition to the idioms beginning with wind
- wind down
- wind up
- before the wind
- break wind
- get wind of
- gone with the wind
- ill wind
- in the wind
- like greased lightning (the wind)
- sail close to the wind
- second wind
- something in the wind
- straw in the wind
- take the wind out of one's sails
- three sheets to the wind
- throw caution to the winds
- twist in the wind
- way the wind blows