- a violent squall that blows in near-polar latitudes, as in the Strait of Magellan, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.
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.
- a sudden strong gust of cold wind blowing offshore from a mountainous coast, as in the Strait of Magellan
- a state of great turmoil
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