• synonyms


  1. a violent squall that blows in near-polar latitudes, as in the Strait of Magellan, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.
Show More

Origin of williwaw

First recorded in 1835–45; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for williwaw

Historical Examples of williwaw

  • On the afternoon of the tenth day on the island the sky clouded up and Mr. Gibney predicted a williwaw.

    Captain Scraggs

    Peter B. Kyne

  • A williwaw began in the hills ahead and swept out and set the ship to reeling crazily in its erratic currents.

British Dictionary definitions for williwaw


noun US and Canadian
  1. a sudden strong gust of cold wind blowing offshore from a mountainous coast, as in the Strait of Magellan
  2. a state of great turmoil
Show More

Word Origin for williwaw

C19: of unknown origin
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