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  1. a gentle, mild breeze.
  2. (initial capital letter) Literary. the west wind.
  3. any of various things of fine, light quality, as fabric, yarn, etc.

Origin of zephyr

before 1000 for def 2; Middle English < Latin zephyrus < Greek zéphyros the west wind; replacing Middle English zeferus, zephirus, Old English zefferus < Latin as above

Synonyms for zephyr

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1. See wind1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for zephyr


  1. a soft or gentle breeze
  2. any of several delicate soft yarns, fabrics, or garments, usually of wool

Word Origin for zephyr

C16: from Latin zephyrus, from Greek zephuros the west wind; probably related to Greek zophos darkness, west
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

Word Origin and History for zephyr

mid-14c., from Old English Zefferus, from Latin Zephyrus, from Greek Zephyros "the west wind" (sometimes personified as a god), probably related to zophos "the west, the dark region, darkness, gloom." Sense of "mild breeze" is c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zephyr in Culture



The Greek and Roman god of the west wind, considered the most pleasant of the winds.

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.