noun, plural si·roc·cos.

a hot, dry, dustladen wind blowing from northern Africa and affecting parts of southern Europe.
a warm, sultry south or southeast wind accompanied by rain, occurring in the same regions.
any hot, oppressive wind, especially one in the warm sector of a cyclone.

Also scirocco.

Origin of sirocco

1610–20; < Italian, variant of scirocco < Arabic sharq east Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sirocco

sandstorm, devil, duster, harmattan, khamsin, samiel, shaitan, simoom

Examples from the Web for sirocco

Historical Examples of sirocco

  • For the hand he held was shaking like some slender-stalked lily in the clutch of the sirocco.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Tramontana and sirocco alternate, and each is more unendurable than the other.

    Italy, the Magic Land

    Lilian Whiting

  • Kalliope, faithful even amid the torment of the sirocco, followed her.

    The Island Mystery

    George A. Birmingham

  • He shivered; then a sirocco of fire followed the void of the wind.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa

  • The deep melancholy poured into him by sirocco caused him to do so now.

    The Call of the Blood

    Robert Smythe Hichens

British Dictionary definitions for sirocco


noun plural -cos

a hot oppressive and often dusty wind usually occurring in spring, beginning in N Africa and reaching S Europe
any hot southerly wind, esp one moving to a low pressure centre

Word Origin for sirocco

C17: from Italian, from Arabic sharq east 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

Word Origin and History for sirocco

"hot wind blowing from the Libyan deserts," 1610s, from Italian sirocco, from vulgar Arabic shoruq "the east wind," from Arabic sharqi "eastern, east wind," from sharq "east," from sharaqa "to rise" (in reference to the sun).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper