AskDefine | Define weather

The Collaborative Dictionary

Weather \Weath"er\, n. [OE. weder, AS. weder; akin to OS. wedar, OFries. weder, D. weder, we[^e]r, G. wetter, OHG. wetar, Icel. ve[eth]r, Dan. veir, Sw. v[aum]der wind, air, weather, and perhaps to OSlav. vedro fair weather; or perhaps to Lith. vetra storm, Russ. vieter', vietr', wind, and E. wind. Cf. Wither.] [1913 Webster]
The state of the air or atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness, or any other meteorological phenomena; meteorological condition of the atmosphere; as, warm weather; cold weather; wet weather; dry weather, etc. [1913 Webster] Not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Fair weather cometh out of the north. --Job xxxvii.
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Vicissitude of season; meteorological change; alternation of the state of the air. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]
Storm; tempest. [1913 Webster] What gusts of weather from that gathering cloud My thoughts presage! --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
A light rain; a shower. [Obs.] --Wyclif. [1913 Webster] Stress of weather, violent winds; force of tempests. To make fair weather, to flatter; to give flattering representations. [R.] To make good weather, or To make bad weather (Naut.), to endure a gale well or ill; -- said of a vessel. --Shak. Under the weather, ill; also, financially embarrassed. [Colloq. U. S.] --Bartlett. Weather box. Same as Weather house, below. --Thackeray. Weather breeder, a fine day which is supposed to presage foul weather. Weather bureau, a popular name for the signal service. See Signal service, under Signal, a. [U. S.] Weather cloth (Naut.), a long piece of canvas of tarpaulin used to preserve the hammocks from injury by the weather when stowed in the nettings. Weather door. (Mining) See Trapdoor,
[Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell. Weather house, a mechanical contrivance in the form of a house, which indicates changes in atmospheric conditions by the appearance or retirement of toy images. [1913 Webster] Peace to the artist whose ingenious thought Devised the weather house, that useful toy! --Cowper. [1913 Webster] Weather molding, or Weather moulding (Arch.), a canopy or cornice over a door or a window, to throw off the rain. Weather of a windmill sail, the obliquity of the sail, or the angle which it makes with its plane of revolution. Weather report, a daily report of meteorological observations, and of probable changes in the weather; esp., one published by government authority. Weather spy, a stargazer; one who foretells the weather. [R.] --Donne. Weather strip (Arch.), a strip of wood, rubber, or other material, applied to an outer door or window so as to cover the joint made by it with the sill, casings, or threshold, in order to exclude rain, snow, cold air, etc. [1913 Webster]
Weather \Weath"er\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Weathered; p. pr. & vb. n. Weathering.] [1913 Webster]
To expose to the air; to air; to season by exposure to air. [1913 Webster] [An eagle] soaring through his wide empire of the air To weather his broad sails. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] This gear lacks weathering. --Latimer. [1913 Webster]
Hence, to sustain the trying effect of; to bear up against and overcome; to sustain; to endure; to resist; as, to weather the storm. [1913 Webster] For I can weather the roughest gale. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster] You will weather the difficulties yet. --F. W. Robertson. [1913 Webster]
(Naut.) To sail or pass to the windward of; as, to weather a cape; to weather another ship. [1913 Webster]
(Falconry) To place (a hawk) unhooded in the open air. --Encyc. Brit. [1913 Webster] To weather a point. (a) (Naut.) To pass a point of land, leaving it on the lee side. (b) Hence, to gain or accomplish anything against opposition. To weather out, to encounter successfully, though with difficulty; as, to weather out a storm. [1913 Webster]
Weather \Weath"er\, v. i. To undergo or endure the action of the atmosphere; to suffer meteorological influences; sometimes, to wear away, or alter, under atmospheric influences; to suffer waste by weather. [1913 Webster] The organisms . . . seem indestructible, while the hard matrix in which they are imbedded has weathered from around them. --H. Miller. [1913 Webster]
Weather \Weath"er\, a. (Naut.) Being toward the wind, or windward -- opposed to lee; as, weather bow, weather braces, weather gauge, weather lifts, weather quarter, weather shrouds, etc. [1913 Webster] Weather gauge. (a) (Naut.) The position of a ship to the windward of another. (b) Fig.: A position of advantage or superiority; advantage in position. [1913 Webster] To veer, and tack, and steer a cause Against the weather gauge of laws. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster] Weather helm (Naut.), a tendency on the part of a sailing vessel to come up into the wind, rendering it necessary to put the helm up, that is, toward the weather side. Weather shore (Naut.), the shore to the windward of a ship. --Totten. Weather tide (Naut.), the tide which sets against the lee side of a ship, impelling her to the windward. --Mar. Dict. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

weather adj : towards the side exposed to wind [syn: upwind, weather(a)] n : the meteorological conditions: temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; "they were hoping for good weather"; "every day we have weather conditions and yesterday was no exception" [syn: weather condition, atmospheric condition]


1 face or endure with courage; "She braved the elements" [syn: endure, brave, brave out]
2 cause to slope
3 sail to the windward of
4 change under the action or influence of the weather; "A weathered old hut"

Moby Thesaurus

ablate, abrade, be safe, be unflappable, beat the game, beat the system, bring to, calm weather, climate, clime, cold weather, come through, come up fighting, come up smiling, erode, fair weather, flanking, forces of nature, fray, frazzle, fret, get home free, glancing, good weather, halcyon days, haul, haul off, haul the wind, haul to, haul up, head to windward, heave to, hold fast, hold out, hold up, hot weather, keep safe, lateral, lee, leeward, live through, macroclimate, make heavy weather, microclimate, next-beside, not budge, outride, persevere, rainy weather, remain firm, ride, ride it out, ride out, rub off, sail to windward, side, sideling, sidelong, sideward, sidewards, sideway, sideways, sidewise, skirting, stand fast, stand firm, stand pat, stay put, stick it out, stormy weather, tatter, the elements, tide over, triumph, uphelm, wear, wear away, wear down, wear off, wear out, wear ragged, weather deck, weather helm, weather out, weather sheet, weather side, weather tack, weather the storm, weather wheel, weatherboard, win out, win through, windiness, windward, windward ebb, windward flood



weder, from , from . Cognate with Dutch weer, German Wetter, Swedish väder; and with Russian вёдро.




  1. of, or relating to weather
  2. windward


  1. The state of the atmosphere, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. As distinguished from climate, weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) variations of the atmosphere. Popularly, weather is thought of in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, and wind.
  2. the short term state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, including the temperature, humidity, cloud coverage and fall of precipitation, wind, etc.
  3. unpleasant or destructive atmospheric conditions, and its effects.



  1. To expose to the weather, or show the effects of such exposure, or to withstand such effects.
  2. To pass to windward in a vessel, especially to beat 'round.
  3. To endure or survive an event or action without undue damage.
    Joshua weathered a collision with a freighter near South Africa.


to expose to weather
to pass to windward
to endure an event
The weather is a set of all extant phenomena in a given atmosphere at a given time. It also includes interactions with the hydrosphere. The term usually refers to the activity of these phenomena over short periods (hours or days), as opposed to the term climate, which refers to the average atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time. When used without qualification, "weather" is understood to be the weather of Earth.
Weather most often results from temperature differences from one place to another. On large scales, temperature differences occur because areas closer to the equator receive more energy per unit area from the Sun than do regions closer to the poles. On local scales, temperature differences can occur because different surfaces (such as oceans, forests, ice sheets, or man-made objects) have differing physical characteristics such as reflectivity, roughness, or moisture content.
Surface temperature differences in turn cause pressure differences. A hot surface heats the air above it and the air expands, lowering the air pressure. The resulting horizontal pressure gradient accelerates the air from high to low pressure, creating wind, and Earth's rotation then causes curvature of the flow via the Coriolis effect. The simple systems thus formed can then display emergent behaviour to produce more complex systems and thus other weather phenomena. Large scale examples include the Hadley cell while a smaller scale example would be coastal breezes.
The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the jet stream. Most weather systems in the mid-latitudes are caused by instabilities of the jet stream flow (see baroclinity). Weather systems in the tropics are caused by different processes, such as monsoons or organized thunderstorm systems.
Because the Earth's axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane, sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. In June the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, so at any given Northern Hemisphere latitude sunlight falls more directly on that spot than in December (see Effect of sun angle on climate). This effect causes seasons. Over thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, changes in Earth's orbital parameters affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by the Earth and influence long-term climate (see Milankovitch cycles).

Terrestrial weather

On Earth, common weather phenomena include such things as wind, cloud, rain, snow, fog and dust storms. Less common events include natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and ice storms. Almost all familiar weather phenomena occur in the troposphere (the lower part of the atmosphere). Weather does occur in the stratosphere and can affect weather lower down in the troposphere, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood.
The atmosphere is a chaotic system, so small changes to one part of the system can grow to have large effects on the system as a whole. This makes it difficult to accurately predict weather more than a few days in advance, though weather forecasters are continually working to extend this limit through the scientific study of weather, meteorology. It is theoretically impossible to make useful day-to-day predictions more than about two weeks ahead, imposing an upper limit to potential for improved prediction skill. Chaos theory says that the slightest variation in the motion of the ground can grow with time. This idea is sometimes called the butterfly effect, from the idea that the motions caused by the flapping wings of a butterfly eventually could produce marked changes in the state of the atmosphere. Because of this sensitivity to small changes it will never be possible to make perfect forecasts, although there still is much potential for improvement.
The sun and oceans can also affect the weather of land. If the sun heats up ocean waters for a period of time, water can evaporate. Once evaporated into the air, the moisture can spread throughout nearby land, thus making it cooler.

Shaping the planet

Weather is one of the fundamental processes that shape the Earth. The process of weathering breaks down rocks and soils into smaller fragments and then into their constituent substances. These are then free to take part in chemical reactions that can affect the surface further (e.g., acid rain) or are reformed into other rocks and soils. Weather also plays a major role in erosion of the surface.

Human history

Weather has played a large and sometimes direct part in human history. Aside from climatic changes that have caused the gradual drift of populations (for example the desertification of the Middle East, and the formation of land bridges during glacial periods), extreme weather events have caused smaller scale population movements and intruded directly in historical events. One such event is the saving of Japan from invasion by the Mongol fleet of Kublai Khan by the Kamikaze winds in 1281. A series of great storms throughout the 13th century caused the powerful English Cinque Ports to be silted up and hence lose their influence. More recently, Hurricane Katrina forced the temporary abandonment of the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005.
Though weather affects people in drastic ways, it can also affect the human race in simpler ways. It has been noted that the human immune system is affected in extreme heat or cold. Mood can also be affected by weather.


Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere at a future time. Prior to the advent of scientific methods of weather forecasting, a large body of weather folklore developed to explain the weather. An example is the Groundhog Day celebration near the end of winter in parts of the United States and Canada, which forecasts whether spring is near or far depending on if the groundhog sees his shadow or not. Today, weather forecasts are made by collecting data that describe the current state of the atmosphere (particularly the temperature, humidity and wind) and using physically-based mathematical models to determine how the atmosphere is expected to change in the future. The chaotic nature of the atmosphere means that perfect forecasts are impossible, and that forecasts become less accurate as the range of the forecast increases.

Weather modification and human impact

The wish to control the weather is evident throughout human history: from ancient rituals intended to bring rain for crops to the U.S. Military Operation Popeye, an attempt to disrupt supply lines by lengthening the North Vietnamese monsoon. The most successful attempts at influencing weather involve cloud seeding; they include the fog- and low stratus dispersion techniques employed by major airports, techniques used to increase winter precipitation over mountains, and techniques to suppress hail.
Whereas there is inconclusive evidence for these techniques' efficacy, there is extensive evidence that human activity such as agriculture and industry results in inadvertent weather modification: The effects of inadvertent weather modification may pose serious threats to many aspects of civilization, including ecosystems, natural resources, food and fiber production, economic development, and human health..


On earth, temperatures usually range between ±40 °C. However, the wide range of climates and latitudes offer extremes of temperature well outside this range. The coldest air temperature ever recorded on Earth is -89.2 °C (-127.8 °F), at Vostok Station, Antarctica on 21 July 1983. The hottest air temperature ever recorded was 57.7 °C (135.9 °F), at Al 'Aziziyah, Libya, on 13 September 1922. The highest recorded average annual temperature was 34.4 °C (94 °F) at Dallol, Ethiopia. The coldest recorded average annual temperature is -50.6 °C (-59 °F) at Vostok Station, Antarctica. The coldest average annual temperature in a permanently inhabited location is at Resolute, Nunavut, in Canada.

Extra-terrestrial weather

Studying how the weather works on other planets has been seen as helpful in understanding how it works on Earth. Weather on other planets follows many of the same physical principles as weather on Earth, but occurs on different scales and in atmospheres having different chemical composition. The Cassini–Huygens mission to Titan discovered clouds formed from methane or ethane which deposit rain composed of liquid methane and other organic compounds. Earth's atmosphere includes about six latitudinal circulation zones, three in each hemisphere (see Hadley cell). In contrast Jupiter's banded appearance shows over a dozen such zones, Titan has a single cell covering its entire surface, and Venus appears to have no zones at all.
One of the most famous landmarks in the Solar System, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, is an anticyclonic storm known to have existed for at least 300 years. On other gas giants the lack of a surface allows the wind to reach enormous speeds: gusts of up to 400 metres per second (about 1440 km/h / 900 mi/h) have been measured on the planet Neptune. This has created a puzzle for planetary scientists. The weather is ultimately created by solar energy and the amount of energy received by Neptune is only about 1/900th of that received by Earth, yet the intensity of weather phenomena on Neptune is far greater than on Earth. The strongest planetary winds discovered so far are on the extrasolar planet HD 189733 b, which is thought to have easterly winds moving at more than 9,600 kilometers per hour.

Extra-planetary weather

main article Space weather Weather is not limited to planetary bodies. A star's corona is constantly being lost to space, creating what is essentially a very thin atmosphere throughout the Solar System. The movement of mass ejected from the Sun is known as the solar wind.
Inconsistencies in this wind and larger events on the surface of the star, such as coronal mass ejections, form a system that has features analogous to conventional weather systems (such as pressure and wind) and is generally known as space weather. The activity of this system can affect planetary atmospheres and occasionally surfaces. The interaction of the solar wind with the terrestrial atmosphere can produce spectacular aurorae, and can play havoc with electrically sensitive systems such as electricity grids and radio signals.


External links

weather in Arabic: طقس
weather in Belarusian: Надвор'е
weather in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Надвор'е
weather in Catalan: Temps atmosfèric
weather in Czech: Počasí
weather in Danish: Vejr
weather in German: Wetter
weather in Estonian: Ilm
weather in Modern Greek (1453-): Καιρός
weather in Spanish: Tiempo atmosférico
weather in Esperanto: Vetero
weather in Basque: Eguraldi
weather in Persian: آب و هوا
weather in French: Temps (météorologie)
weather in Irish: Aimsir (meitéareolaíocht)
weather in Galician: Tempo atmosférico
weather in Korean: 날씨
weather in Hindi: मौसम
weather in Croatian: Vrijeme (klima)
weather in Indonesian: Cuaca
weather in Icelandic: Veður
weather in Italian: Tempo atmosferico
weather in Hebrew: מזג אוויר
weather in Georgian: ამინდი
weather in Swahili (macrolanguage): Hali ya hewa
weather in Latin: Status caeli
weather in Lithuanian: Orai
weather in Marathi: हवामान
weather in Malay (macrolanguage): Cuaca
weather in Mongolian: Цаг агаар
weather in Dutch: Weer (meteorologie)
weather in Nepali: मौसम
weather in Japanese: 気象
weather in Norwegian: Vær (meteorologi)
weather in Norwegian Nynorsk: Vêr
weather in Polish: Pogoda
weather in Portuguese: Tempo (clima)
weather in Russian: Погода
weather in Simple English: Weather
weather in Slovak: Počasie
weather in Slovenian: Vreme
weather in Finnish: Sää
weather in Swedish: Väder
weather in Vietnamese: Thời tiết
weather in Turkish: Hava (iklim)
weather in Ukrainian: Погода
weather in Yiddish: וועטער
weather in Contenese: 天氣
weather in Chinese: 天气
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