- 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
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
C19: of unknown origin