[ weth-er ]
/ ˈwɛð ər /
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See synonyms for: weather / weathered / weathering on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)


What Is The Difference Between "Weather" vs. "Climate"?

Although there is a wealth of scientific evidence, the difference between weather and climate can be difficult to understand. But all hope is not lost—we're here to help you learn the difference.

Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Idioms about weather

    under the weather, Informal.
    1. somewhat indisposed; ailing; ill.
    2. suffering from a hangover.
    3. more or less drunk: Many fatal accidents are caused by drivers who are under the weather.

Origin of weather

First recorded before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English weder; cognate with Dutch weder, German Wetter, Old Norse vethr

historical usage of weather

Weather and its (Germanic) kindred terms wind and window are derivatives of the very common, very complicated Proto-Indo-European root awe-, awē-, wē- “to blow.” The variant awe- is the source of Germanic wedram “storm, weather” (Old English weder, English weather ). The suffixed variant wēn- forms Latin ventum “wind,” and English wind and window.
Window is first recorded in Middle English in the first half of the 13th century. It comes from Old Norse vindauga “wind eye,” originally an opening in a gable or roof to release smoke and admit light. (The Old Norse word came into Old English before the initial w- became v- in literary Old Norse.)


weath·er·er, noun


weather , whether
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What’s the difference between weather and climate?

Weather refers to short-term atmospheric conditions—the temperature and precipitation on a certain day, for example. Climate refers to the average atmospheric conditions that prevail in a given region over a long period of time—whether a place is generally cold and wet or hot and dry, for example. It can also refer to the region or area that has a particular climate.

Weather can also be a verb, meaning to expose something to harsh conditions (such as by placing it outside, in the weather), often in order to change it in some way, as in We need to weather this leather to soften it. It can also mean to endure a storm or, more metaphorically, a negative or dangerous situation, as in We will simply have to weather the recession. As nouns, both weather and climate can be used figuratively to refer to the general (nonliteral) atmosphere of a place or situation, as in phrases like political climate and fair-weather friend.

In scientific terms, both weather and climate are about atmospheric conditions like temperature, precipitation, and other factors. But they differ in scale. Weather involves the atmospheric conditions and changes we experience in the short term, on a daily basis. Rain today, sun tomorrow, and snow next month—that’s weather. Climate involves average atmospheric conditions in a particular place over a long period of time (this is often understood to mean 30 years or more). Is the place where you live consistently rainy and cool? Is it always 72 degrees and sunny? That’s climate.

So, when you’re making small talk about whether it’s rainy or sunny that day, you’re discussing the weather. If you’re complaining that it’s always way too hot where you live, all year round, you’re discussing your regional climate.

Changes to climate—even an average temperature rise of a few degrees—can alter the weather patterns that we’re accustomed to. More extreme and more frequent storms, floods, and droughts are some examples of weather events that are being fueled by a warming of the climate.

Here’s an example of weather and climate used correctly in a sentence.

Example: When you live in an extremely dry climate, a rare day of rainy weather is thrilling.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between weather and climate.

Quiz yourself on weather vs. climate!

Should weather or climate be used in the following sentence?

This week’s hot _____ has brought people out to the pool in droves.

How to use weather in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for weather

/ (ˈwɛðə) /

(prenominal) on or at the side or part towards the wind; windwardthe weather anchor Compare lee (def. 4)

Derived forms of weather

weatherability, nounweatherer, noun

Word Origin for weather

Old English weder; related to Old Saxon wedar, Old High German wetar, Old Norse vethr
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 weather

[ wĕðər ]

The state of the atmosphere at a particular time and place. Weather is described in terms of variable conditions such as temperature, humidity, wind velocity, precipitation, and barometric pressure. Weather on Earth occurs primarily in the troposphere, or lower atmosphere, and is driven by energy from the Sun and the rotation of the Earth. The average weather conditions of a region over time are used to define a region's climate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for weather


The daily conditions of the atmosphere in terms of temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, and moisture.

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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with weather


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.