Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
a. Moving air, especially a natural and perceptible movement of air parallel to or along the ground.
b. A movement of air generated artificially, as by bellows or a fan.
a. The direction from which a movement of air comes: The wind is north-northwest.
b. A movement of air coming from one of the four cardinal points of the compass: the four winds.
3. Moving air carrying sound, an odor, or a scent.
a. Breath, especially normal or adequate breathing; respiration: had the wind knocked out of them.
b. Gas produced in the stomach or intestines during digestion; flatulence.
a. The brass and woodwinds sections of a band or orchestra.
b. Wind instruments or their players considered as a group.
a. Something that disrupts or destroys: the winds of war.
b. A tendency; a trend: the winds of change.
7. Information, especially of something concealed; intimation: Trouble will ensue if wind of this scandal gets out.
a. Speech or writing empty of meaning; verbiage: His remarks on the subject are nothing but wind.
b. Vain self-importance; pomposity: an expert who was full of wind even before becoming famous.
1. To expose to free movement of air; ventilate or dry.
a. To detect the smell of; catch a scent of.
b. To pursue by following a scent.
3. To cause to be out of or short of breath.
4. To afford a recovery of breath: stopped to wind and water the horses.
In the same direction the wind is blowing.
1. Nautical As close as possible to the direction the wind is blowing from.
2. Close to danger.
Likely to occur; in the offing: Big changes are in the wind.
Nautical In the same or nearly the same direction as the wind is blowing from.
In a direction that is not as close as possible to the direction the wind is blowing from.
Close to the wind.
To rob of an advantage; deflate.
1. Nautical To the leeward.
2. In a location protected from the wind.
v. wound (wound), wind·ing, winds
1. To wrap (something) around a center or another object once or repeatedly: wind string around a spool.
2. To wrap or encircle (an object) in a series of coils; entwine: wound her injured leg with a bandage; wound the waist of the gown with lace and ribbons.
a. To go along (a curving or twisting course): wind a path through the mountains.
b. To proceed on (one’s way) with a curving or twisting course.
4. To introduce in a disguised or devious manner; insinuate: He wound a plea for money into his letter.
5. To turn (a crank, for example) in a series of circular motions.
a. To coil the spring of (a mechanism) by turning a stem or cord, for example: wind a watch.
b. To coil (thread, for example), as onto a spool or into a ball.
c. To remove or unwind (thread, for example), as from a spool: wound the line off the reel.
7. To lift or haul by means of a windlass or winch: Wind the pail to the top of the well.
1. To move in or have a curving or twisting course: a river winding through a valley.
a. To move in or have a spiral or circular course: a column of smoke winding into the sky.
b. To be coiled or spiraled: The vine wound about the trellis.
3. To be twisted or whorled into curved forms.
4. To proceed misleadingly or insidiously in discourse or conduct.
5. To become wound: a clock that winds with difficulty.
1. The act of winding.
2. A single turn, twist, or curve.
1. To diminish or cause to diminish gradually in energy, intensity, or scope: The party wound down as guests began to leave.
2. To relax; unwind.
1. To come or bring to a finish; end: when the meeting wound up; wind up a project.
2. To put in order; settle: wound up her affairs before leaving the country.
3. To arrive in a place or situation after or because of a course of action: took a long walk and wound up at the edge of town; overspent and wound up in debt.
4. Baseball To swing back the arm and raise the foot in preparation for pitching the ball.
[Middle English winden, from Old English windan.]
1. To blow (a wind instrument).
2. To sound by blowing.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
2. (Physical Geography) chiefly poetic the direction from which a wind blows, usually a cardinal point of the compass
3. (General Engineering) air artificially moved, as by a fan, pump, etc
4. any sweeping and destructive force
5. a trend, tendency, or force: the winds of revolution.
6. informal a hint; suggestion: we got wind that you were coming.
7. something deemed insubstantial: his talk was all wind.
8. breath, as used in respiration or talk: you’re just wasting wind.
a. a wind instrument or wind instruments considered collectively
b. (often plural) the musicians who play wind instruments in an orchestra
c. (modifier) of, relating to, or composed of wind instruments: a wind ensemble.
12. (Hunting) 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
13. (Nautical Terms) the part of a vessel’s hull below the water line that is exposed by rolling or by wave action
14. any point particularly susceptible to attack or injury
15. (Physiology) break wind to release intestinal gas through the anus
16. get the wind up have the wind up informal to become frightened
17. (Hunting) have in the wind to be in the act of following (quarry) by scent
18. how the wind blows how the wind lies which way the wind blows which way the wind lies what appears probable
19. in the wind about to happen
20. (Brewing) three sheets in the wind informal intoxicated; drunk
21. (Nautical Terms) in the teeth of the wind in the eye of the wind directly into the wind
22. into the wind against the wind or upwind
23. (Nautical Terms) off the wind nautical away from the direction from which the wind is blowing
24. (Nautical Terms) on the wind nautical as near as possible to the direction from which the wind is blowing
25. put the wind up informal to frighten or alarm
26. (Banking & Finance) raise the wind informal Brit to obtain the necessary funds
a. to come near the limits of danger or indecency
b. to live frugally or manage one’s affairs economically
28. take the wind out of someone’s sails to destroy someone’s advantage; disconcert or deflate
29. (Pathology) to cause (someone) to be short of breath: the blow winded him.
a. to detect the scent of
b. to pursue (quarry) by following its scent
31. (Physiology) to cause (a baby) to bring up wind after feeding by patting or rubbing on the back
32. to expose to air, as in drying, ventilating, etc
[Old English wind; related to Old High German wint, Old Norse vindr, Gothic winds, Latin ventus]
1. (Textiles) (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.
3. (Mechanical Engineering) (often foll by: up) to tighten the spring of (a clockwork mechanism)
4. (foll by: off) to remove by uncoiling or unwinding
5. (usually intr) to move or cause to move in a sinuous, spiral, or circular course: the river winds through the hills.
6. (tr) to introduce indirectly or deviously: he is winding his own opinions into the report.
7. (tr) to cause to twist or revolve: he wound the handle.
8. (General Engineering) (tr; usually foll by up or down) to move by cranking: please wind up the window.
9. (Mechanical Engineering) (tr) to haul, lift, or hoist (a weight, etc) by means of a wind or windlass
10. (Building) (intr) (of a board, etc) to be warped or twisted
11. (intr) archaic to proceed deviously or indirectly
12. the act of winding or state of being wound
13. a single turn, bend, etc: a wind in the river.
14. (Building) Also called: winding a twist in a board or plank
[Old English windan; related to Old Norse vinda, Old High German wintan (German winden)]
(Music, other) (tr) poetic to blow (a note or signal) on (a horn, bugle, etc)
[C16: special use of wind1]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
(n. wɪnd, Literary waɪnd; v. wɪnd)
1. air in natural motion, as that moving horizontally at any velocity along the earth’s surface, caused by temperature differentials in air.
2. a gale; storm; hurricane.
3. any stream of air, as that produced by a bellows or fan.
5. wind instruments collectively, as distinguished from percussion and strings.
6. winds, the members of a band or orchestra playing wind instruments.
7. breath or breathing: to catch one’s wind.
8. the power of breathing freely, as during continued exertion.
9. any influential force or trend: the winds of public opinion.
10. a hint or intimation: to catch wind of a stock split.
11. air carrying an animal’s odor or scent.
12. empty talk; mere words.
13. vanity; conceit.
14. gas generated in the stomach and intestines.
15. to expose to wind or air.
16. to follow by the scent.
17. to make short of wind or breath, as by vigorous exercise.
18. to let recover breath, as by resting after exertion.
19. to catch the scent or odor of game.
1. how or which way the wind blows or lies, what the tendency or probability is.
2. in the teeth or eye of the wind, directly into or against the wind.
3. in the wind, about to occur; impending.
a. away from the wind; with the wind at one’s back.
b. (of a sailing vessel) headed into the wind with sails shaking or aback.
5. on the or a wind, as close as possible to the wind.
a. to sail as nearly as possible in the direction from which the wind is blowing.
b. to practice economy in one’s affairs.
c. to verge on a breach of propriety or decency.
d. to take a risk.
7. take the wind out of one’s sails, to destroy one’s self-assurance; disconcert or deflate one.
[before 900; Middle English (n.), Old English, c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon wind, Old High German wint, Old Norse vindr, Gothic winds, Latin ventus]
v. wound (waʊnd) or (Rare) wind•ed (ˌwaɪn dɪd) wind•ing; v.i.
1. to take a frequently bending course; change direction; meander: The stream winds through the forest.
2. to have a circular or spiral course or direction.
3. to coil or twine about something.
4. to proceed circuitously or indirectly.
5. to undergo winding or winding up.
6. to be twisted or warped, as a board.
7. to encircle or wreathe, as with something twined, wrapped, or placed about.
8. to roll or coil (thread, string, etc.) into a ball, on a spool, or the like (often fol. by up).
9. to remove or take off by unwinding (usu. fol. by off or from): to wind thread off a bobbin.
10. to twine, fold, wrap, or place about something.
11. to make (a mechanism) operational by turning a key, crank, etc. (often fol. by up): to wind a clock.
12. to haul or hoist by means of a winch, windlass, or the like (often fol. by up).
13. to make (one’s or its way) in a bending or curving course.
14. to make (one’s or its way) by indirect, stealthy, or devious procedure: wound his way into our confidence.
a. to bring or come to a gradual conclusion.
b. to calm down; relax.
a. to bring or come to a conclusion: to wind up a campaign.
b. to end up: to wind up in jail.
c. to make tense or nervous; excite: She got all wound up before the game.
17. the act of winding.
18. a single turn, twist, or bend of something wound.
19. a twist producing an uneven surface.
v.t. wind•ed or wound (waʊnd) wind•ing.
1. to blow (a horn, etc.).
2. to sound by blowing.
WInd or W.Ind.,
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Global wind patterns are determined by differences in atmospheric pressure resulting from the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the sun. As warm, moist air rises along the equator, surface air moves in to take its place, creating the trade winds. Some of the air that descends at the two tropics moves away from the equator, creating the westerlies. The eastward and westward movement of these wind patterns is caused by the Earth’s clockwise rotation.
A current of air, especially a natural one that moves along or parallel to the ground.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
an abnormal fear of wind.
Rare. the recording of the measurement of wind speed by an anemometer. — anemographic, adj.
the science of the winds. — anemological, adj.
an instrument for indicating wind velocity.
the measurement of wind speed and direction, often by an anemometrograph. — anemometric, anemometrical, adj.
wind-loving, said of plants that are fertilized only through the action of winds. — anemophile, n. — anemophilous, adj.
an abnormal fear of drafts or winds. — anemophobe, n.
an instrument for recording the direction of the wind.
a cold, dry wind that blows from the north or northeast in south central Europe.
a light wind, 4 to 27 knots on the Beaufort scale.
an atmospheric disturbance characterized by powerful winds spinning in the shape of a vertical cylinder or horizontal disk, accompanied by low pressure at the center. — cyclonic, adj.
the study of cyclones. — cyclonologist, n.
a warm, dry wind that blows down the side of a mountain, as on the north side of the Alps.
a strong wind, 28 to 55 knots on the Beaufort scale.
a heavy dust- or sandstorm of N. Africa, Arabia, and India.
a extremely strong wind, usually accompanied by foul weather, more than 65 knots on the Beaufort scale.
a strong east wind in the Mediterranean region.
a cold, dry wind that blows from the north in the south of France and vicinity.
a hot, dry, dust-bearing wind that blows from inland desert regions in southern California.
1. a hot, dry, dust-laden wind that blows on the northern Mediterranean coast from Africa.
2. a sultry southeast wind in the same regions.
3. a hot, oppressive wind of cyclonic origin, as in Kansas.
a highly localized, violent windstorm occurring over land, usually in the U.S. Midwest, characterized by a vertical, funnel-shaped cloud.
a cyclone or hurricane in the western Pacific Ocean.
any wind that has a spinning motion and is conflned to a small area in the shape of a vertical cylinder.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
wind instruments in an orchestra; their players collectively, 1876.
Examples: wind of adulation, 1480; of doctrines, 1526; of hope, 1591; of laughter, 1859; of passions, 1665; of praise, 1634.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
See Also: WEATHER
- Breeze [after a very hot day] … as torrid as the air from an oven —Ellen Glasgow
- The breeze flowed down on me, passing like a light hand —Louise Erdrich
- The breeze … sent little waves curling like lazy whips along the shingle [of a house] —John Fowles
- A breeze which came like a breath —Paul Horgan
- A draft … struck through his drenched clothes like ice cold needles —Cornell Woolrich
- A gathering wind sent the willows tossing like a jungle of buggy whips —William Styron
- High wind … like invisible icicles —Rebecca West
- Level winds as flat as ribbons —M. J. Farrell
- A northeaster roared down on us like a herd of drunken whales —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- A northeast wind which cut like a thousand razors —Frank Swinnerton
See Also: PAIN
- A sandy wind blowing rough as an elephant —Truman Capote
- The sound of wind is like a flame —Yvor Winters
- The sunless evening wind slid down the mountain like an invisible river —Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- The night wind rushed like a thief along the streets —Brian Moore
- There came a wind like a bugle —Emily Dickinson
This is both title and first line of a poem.
- The warm spring wind fluttered against his face like an old kiss —Michael Malone
- Wind … beat like a fist against his face —Vicki Baum
- The wind blew gusts of wind into his face that were much like a shower-bath —Honore de Balzac
- The wind blew him like a sail up against a lifeboat —F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Wind … blowing down from a flat black sky like painted cardboard —Marge Piercy
- Wind … driving the dry snow along with it like a mist of powdered diamonds —Henry Van Dyke
- The wind drove against him like a granite cliff —Edith Wharton
- Wind … dry and faint, like the breath of some old woman —Joe Coomer
- Wind … dry and fresh as ice —Frank Ross
- The wind filled his shirt like a white sail —Yitzhak Shenhar
- The wind flicked about a little like the tail of a horse that’s trying to decide what sort of mood it’s in tonight —Douglas Adams
- The wind howls like a chained beast in pain —Delmore Schwartz
- The wind howls like air inside a shell —Tracy Daugherty
- The wind is like a dog that runs away —Wallace Stevens
- The wind is like a hand on my forehead, in caress —John Hall Wheelock
- Wind like a hungry coyote’s cry —Patricia Henley
- Wind like a perfumed woman in heat —Clive Irving
- The wind like a razor —Miles Gibson
- The wind like a saw-edged knife —Paul J. Wellman
- The wind [in autumn] moves like a cripple among the leaves —Wallace Stevens
- The wind plunged like a hawk from the swollen clouds —Ellen Glasgow
- (The gray winter) wind prowling like a hungry wolf just beyond the windows —George Garrett
- The wind ran in the street like a thin dog —Katherine Mansfield
- Wind ringing in their ears like well-known old songs —Hans Christian Andersen
- The wind rose out of the depth below them, sounding as if it were pushing boulders uphill —Martin Cruz Smith
- Wind … rustling the … child’s hair like grass —Marguerite Duras
- The wind screamed like a huge, injured thing —Scott Spencer
- Wind … surges into your ear like breath coming and going —Philip Levine
- The wind swept the snow aside, ever faster and thicker, as if it were trying to catch up with something —Boris Pasternak
- The wind whistled … like a pack of coyotes —Paige Mitchell
- A wind will … knock like a rifle-butt against the door —Wallace Stevens
The comparison appears in Stevens’ poem, The Auroras of Autumn. The full line from which the rifle-butt comparison is taken includes “A wind will spread its windy grandeurs round and …”
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Wind can be a noun or a verb.
The wind /wɪnd/ is a current of air moving across the earth’s surface.
An icy wind brought clouds of snow.
Leaves were being blown along by the wind.
The verb wind /waɪnd/ has a completely different meaning. If a road or river winds in a particular direction, it goes in that direction with a lot of bends.
The river winds through miles of beautiful countryside.
The past tense and -ed participle of this verb is wound, pronounced /waʊnd/.
The road wound across the desolate plain.
You can also wind /waɪnd/ something around something else. For example, you can wind a wire around a stick. This means that you wrap the wire around the stick several times.
She started to wind the bandage around her arm.
He had a long scarf wound round his neck.
When you wind /waɪnd/ something such as a watch or a clock, you turn a knob or handle several times in order to make it operate.
I hadn’t wound my watch so I didn’t know the time.
Wound can also be pronounced /wuːnd/. When it is pronounced like this, it is a noun or a verb, and it has a completely different meaning. A wound is damage to a part of your body, caused by a weapon.
They treated a soldier with a leg wound.
If someone wounds you, they damage your body using a weapon.
Her father was badly wounded in the war.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
(current of air)
Past participle: winded
(coil or twist)
Past participle: wound
(blow bugle etc.)
Past participle: winded/wound
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011