Meteorology. a sudden, strong wind of brief duration that is sustained for at least two minutes at a speed of at least 16 knots (18 miles per hour, 8 meters per second), often accompanied by precipitation, and then rapidly diminishes in speed: We can’t rule out some short spells of heavy rain, as occasional squalls from the north are expected later today.: Compare gust1 (def. 1).
Nautical. any local storm on navigable water that is typically sudden and severe, with strong winds often accompanied by precipitation and sometimes thunder and lightning: He got soaked in a squall out in the bay, but thank heavens his skiff was just a few dozen yards from shore.
a sudden disturbance or commotion: Holidays with her family were always unnerving—you never knew when a pleasant moment was going to erupt into a chaotic squall.
Meteorology, Nautical. to blow as a squall: They say it may squall, but I say we should go ahead with our picnic plans.
- squall·ish, adjective
Other definitions for squall (2 of 2)
to cry or scream loudly and violently: The hungry baby began to squall.
to utter in a screaming tone.
the act or sound of squalling: The baby's squall was heard next door.
- squaller, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use squall in a sentence
Tell me, shall you be happy to have another little squaller?The Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Volume I (of 2) | Florence A. Thomas Marshall
One white hair spoils all, and puts it on a level with any common squaller in the back garden.The Book of This and That | Robert Lynd
A squall on the sea is a stress of weather, and a squaller on land is a songstress.The New Pun Book | Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey
"Not until you have earned it," replied black Sancho Squaller, with the sternness of a judge.Harper's Young People, June 7, 1881 | Various
Come along then, Pete; we'll take a look in at thet squaller, an' see how bad he's hurted.Woodcraft | Alan Douglas
British Dictionary definitions for squall (1 of 2)
a sudden strong wind or brief turbulent storm
any sudden commotion or show of temper
(intr) to blow in a squall
- squallish, adjective
- squally, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for squall (2 of 2)
(intr) to cry noisily; yell
a shrill or noisy yell or howl
- squaller, noun
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 squall
A brief, sudden, violent windstorm, often accompanied by rain or snow. A squall is said to occur if a wind having a sustained speed of 40 km (25 mi) per hour lasts at least 1 minute and then decreases rapidly. See also squall line.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.