[ noun wind, Literary wahynd; verb wind ]
See synonyms for wind on
  1. air in natural motion, as that moving horizontally at any velocity along the earth's surface: A gentle wind blew through the valley. High winds were forecast.

  2. a gale; storm; hurricane.

  1. any stream of air, as that produced by a bellows or fan.

  2. air that is blown or forced to produce a musical sound in singing or playing an instrument.

  3. wind instruments collectively.

  4. the winds, the members of an orchestra or band who play the wind instruments.

  5. breath or breathing: to catch one's wind.

  6. the power of breathing freely, as during continued exertion.

  7. any influential force or trend: strong winds of public opinion.

  8. a hint or intimation: to catch wind of a stock split.

  9. air carrying an animal's odor or scent.

  10. empty talk; mere words.

  11. vanity; conceitedness.

  12. gas generated in the stomach and intestines.

  13. Boxing Slang. the pit of the stomach where a blow may cause a temporary shortness of breath; solar plexus.

  14. any direction of the compass.

verb (used with object)
  1. to expose to wind or air.

  2. to follow by the scent.

  1. to make short of wind or breath, as by vigorous exercise.

  2. to let recover breath, as by resting after exertion.

verb (used without object)
  1. to catch the scent or odor of game.

Idioms about wind

  1. between wind and water,

    • (of a ship) at or near the water line.

    • in a vulnerable or precarious spot: In her profession one is always between wind and water.

  2. break wind, to expel gas from the stomach and bowels through the anus.

  1. how the wind blows / lies, what the tendency or probability is: Try to find out how the wind blows.: Also which way the wind blows .

  2. in the teeth of the wind, sailing directly into the wind; against the wind.: Also in the eye of the wind, in the wind's eye .

  3. in the wind, about to occur; imminent; impending: There's good news in the wind.

  4. off the wind,

    • away from the wind; with the wind at one's back.

    • (of a sailing vessel) headed into the wind with sails shaking or aback.

  5. on the wind, as close as possible to the wind.: Also on a wind .

  6. sail close to the wind,

    • Also sail close on a wind . to sail as nearly as possible in the direction from which the wind is blowing.

    • to practice economy in the management of one's affairs.

    • to verge on a breach of propriety or decency.

    • to escape (punishment, detection, etc.) by a narrow margin; take a risk.

  7. take the wind out of one's sails, to surprise someone, especially with unpleasant news; stun; shock; flabbergast: She took the wind out of his sails when she announced she was marrying someone else.

  8. throw / cast something to the wind(s), to dispense with or relinquish something characteristic of one’s habits or behavior in favor of something uncharacteristic, regardless of the possible consequences: I decided to throw caution to the wind and quit my job to become a full-time writer.

Origin of wind

First recorded before 900; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with Dutch, German Wind, Old Norse vindr, Gothic winds, Latin ventus

synonym study For wind

1. Wind, air, zephyr, breeze, blast, gust refer to a quantity of air set in motion naturally. Wind applies to any such air in motion, blowing with whatever degree of gentleness or violence. Air, usually poetical, applies to a very gentle motion of the air. Zephyr, also poetical, refers to an air characterized by its soft, mild quality. A breeze is usually a cool, light wind. Blast and gust apply to quick, forceful winds of short duration; blast implies a violent rush of air, often a cold one, whereas a gust is little more than a flurry.

Other words for wind

Other definitions for wind (2 of 4)

[ wahynd ]

verb (used without object),wound or (Rare) wind·ed [wahyn-did]; /ˌwaɪn dɪd/; wind·ing.
  1. to change direction; bend; turn; take a frequently bending course; meander: The river winds through the forest.

  2. to have a circular or spiral course or direction.

  1. to coil or twine about something: The ivy winds around the house.

  2. to proceed circuitously or indirectly.

  3. to undergo winding or winding up.

  4. to be twisted or warped, as a board.

verb (used with object),wound or (Rare) wind·ed [wahyn-did]; /ˌwaɪn dɪd/; wind·ing.
  1. to encircle or wreathe, as with something twined, wrapped, or placed about.

  2. to roll or coil (thread, string, etc.) into a ball, on a spool, or the like (often followed by up).

  1. to remove or take off by unwinding (usually followed by off or from): She wound the thread off the bobbin.

  2. to twine, fold, wrap, or place about something.

  3. to make (a mechanism) operational by tightening the mainspring with a key (often followed by up): to wind a clock; to wind up a toy.

  4. to haul or hoist by means of a winch, windlass, or the like (often followed by up).

  5. to make (one's or its way) in a bending or curving course: The stream winds its way through the woods.

  6. to make (one's or its way) by indirect, stealthy, or devious procedure: to wind one's way into another's confidence.

  1. the act of winding.

  2. a single turn, twist, or bend of something wound: If you give it another wind, you'll break the mainspring.

  1. a twist producing an uneven surface.

Verb Phrases
  1. wind down,

    • to lessen in intensity so as to bring or come to a gradual end: The war is winding down.

    • to calm down; relax: He's too excited tonight to wind down and sleep.

  2. wind up,

    • to bring to a state of great tension; excite (usually used in the past participle): He was all wound up before the game.

    • to bring or come to an end; conclude: to wind up a sales campaign.

    • to settle or arrange in order to conclude: to wind up one's affairs.

    • to become ultimately: to wind up as a country schoolteacher.

    • Baseball. (of a pitcher) to execute a windup.

Origin of wind

First recorded before 900; Middle English winden, Old English windan; cognate with Dutch, German winden, Old Norse vinda, Gothic -windan; akin to wend, wander

Other definitions for wind (3 of 4)

[ wahynd, wind ]

verb (used with object),wind·ed [wahyn-did, win-did] /ˈwaɪn dɪd, ˈwɪn dɪd/ or wound [wound]; /waʊnd/; wind·ing [wahyn-ding, win-ding]. /ˈwaɪn dɪŋ, ˈwɪn dɪŋ/.
  1. to blow (a horn, a blast, etc.).

  2. to sound by blowing.

  1. to signal or direct by blasts of the horn or the like.

Origin of wind

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English; special use of wind1

Other definitions for WInd (4 of 4)


  1. West Indian. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use wind in a sentence

  • The Taube has been bothering us again, but wound up its manœuvres very decently by killing some fish for our dinner.

  • He wound up Charles' business at Paris, paying all his debts by a single little sale.

    Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z | Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
  • The old man wound up by declaring his intense desire to see both the cousins and his "dear grandchild" as soon as possible.

  • His eyes were blue and intense, and they gave Kieran the feeling that this man was a wound-up spring.

    The Stars, My Brothers | Edmond Hamilton
  • All these were unobjectionable matches, And might go on, if well wound up, like watches.Byron.

    Newton Forster | Captain Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for wind (1 of 3)


/ (wɪnd) /

  1. a current of air, sometimes of considerable force, moving generally horizontally from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure: See also Beaufort scale Related adjective: aeolian

  2. mainly poetic the direction from which a wind blows, usually a cardinal point of the compass

  1. air artificially moved, as by a fan, pump, etc

  2. any sweeping and destructive force

  3. a trend, tendency, or force: the winds of revolution

  4. informal a hint; suggestion: we got wind that you were coming

  5. something deemed insubstantial: his talk was all wind

  6. breath, as used in respiration or talk: you're just wasting wind

  7. (often used in sports) the power to breathe normally: his wind is weak See also second wind

  8. music

    • a wind instrument or wind instruments considered collectively

    • (often plural) the musicians who play wind instruments in an orchestra

    • (modifier) of, relating to, or composed of wind instruments: a wind ensemble

  9. an informal name for flatus

  10. the air on which the scent of an animal is carried to hounds or on which the scent of a hunter is carried to his quarry

  11. between wind and water

    • the part of a vessel's hull below the water line that is exposed by rolling or by wave action

    • any point particularly susceptible to attack or injury

  12. break wind to release intestinal gas through the anus

  13. get the wind up or have the wind up informal to become frightened

  14. have in the wind to be in the act of following (quarry) by scent

  15. how the wind blows, how the wind lies, which way the wind blows or which way the wind lies what appears probable

  16. in the wind about to happen

  17. three sheets in the wind informal intoxicated; drunk

  18. in the teeth of the wind or in the eye of the wind directly into the wind

  19. into the wind against the wind or upwind

  20. off the wind nautical away from the direction from which the wind is blowing

  21. on the wind nautical as near as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing

  22. put the wind up informal to frighten or alarm

  23. raise the wind British informal to obtain the necessary funds

  24. sail close to the wind or sail near to the wind

    • to come near the limits of danger or indecency

    • to live frugally or manage one's affairs economically

  25. take the wind out of someone's sails to destroy someone's advantage; disconcert or deflate

  1. to cause (someone) to be short of breath: the blow winded him

    • to detect the scent of

    • to pursue (quarry) by following its scent

  1. to cause (a baby) to bring up wind after feeding by patting or rubbing on the back

  2. to expose to air, as in drying, ventilating, etc

Origin of wind

Old English wind; related to Old High German wint, Old Norse vindr, Gothic winds, Latin ventus

Derived forms of wind

  • windless, adjective
  • windlessly, adverb
  • windlessness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for wind (2 of 3)


/ (waɪnd) /

verbwinds, winding or wound
  1. (often foll by around, about, or upon) to turn or coil (string, cotton, etc) around some object or point or (of string, etc) to be turned etc, around some object or point: he wound a scarf around his head

  2. (tr) to twine, cover, or wreathe by or as if by coiling, wrapping, etc; encircle: we wound the body in a shroud

  1. (tr often foll by up) to tighten the spring of (a clockwork mechanism)

  2. (tr foll by off) to remove by uncoiling or unwinding

  3. (usually intr) to move or cause to move in a sinuous, spiral, or circular course: the river winds through the hills

  4. (tr) to introduce indirectly or deviously: he is winding his own opinions into the report

  5. (tr) to cause to twist or revolve: he wound the handle

  6. (tr; usually foll by up or down) to move by cranking: please wind up the window

  7. (tr) to haul, lift, or hoist (a weight, etc) by means of a wind or windlass

  8. (intr) (of a board, etc) to be warped or twisted

  9. (intr) archaic to proceed deviously or indirectly

  1. the act of winding or state of being wound

  2. a single turn, bend, etc: a wind in the river

  1. Also called: winding a twist in a board or plank

Origin of wind

Old English windan; related to Old Norse vinda, Old High German wintan (German winden)

Derived forms of wind

  • windable, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for wind (3 of 3)


/ (waɪnd) /

verbwinds, winding, winded or wound
  1. (tr) poetic to blow (a note or signal) on (a horn, bugle, etc)

Origin of wind

C16: special use of wind 1

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 wind


[ wĭnd ]

  1. A current of air, especially a natural one that moves along or parallel to the ground, moving from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Surface wind is measured by anemometers or its effect on objects, such as trees. The large-scale pattern of winds on Earth is governed primarily by differences in the net solar radiation received at the Earth's surface, but it is also influenced by the Earth's rotation, by the distribution of continents and oceans, by ocean currents, and by topography. On a local scale, the differences in rate of heating and cooling of land versus bodies of water greatly affect wind formation. Prevailing global winds are classified into three major belts in the Northern Hemisphere and three corresponding belts in the Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds blow generally east to west toward a low-pressure zone at the equator throughout the region from 30° north to 30° south of the equator. The westerlies blow from west to east in the temperate mid-latitude regions (from 30° to 60° north and south of the equator), and the polar easterlies blow from east to west out of high-pressure areas in the polar regions. See also Beaufort scale chinook foehn monsoon Santa Ana.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with wind


In addition to the idioms beginning with wind

  • wind down
  • wind up

also see:

  • before the wind
  • break wind
  • get wind of
  • gone with the wind
  • ill wind
  • in the wind
  • like greased lightning (the wind)
  • sail close to the wind
  • second wind
  • something in the wind
  • straw in the wind
  • take the wind out of one's sails
  • three sheets to the wind
  • throw caution to the winds
  • twist in the wind
  • way the wind blows

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