Definition: Weather

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English weder, wedir, from Old English weder, from Proto-West Germanic *wedr, from Proto-Germanic *wedrą, from Proto-Indo-European *wedʰrom, *we-dʰrom, from *h₂weh₁- (to blow). Cognate with Saterland Frisian Weeder, West Frisian waar, Dutch weer, Low German Weder, German Wetter, Danish vejr, Swedish väder, Norwegian Bokmål vær, Norwegian Nynorsk vêr, Icelandic veður; also more distantly related to Russian вёдро or vjódro (fair weather) and perhaps Albanian vrëndë (light rain). Other cognates include Sanskrit निर्वाण or nirvāṇa (blown or put out, extinguished).


weather (countable and uncountable, plural weathers)

  1. The short term state of the atmosphere at a specific time and place, including the temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover, precipitation, wind, etc.
    What's the weather like today?
    We'll go for a walk when the weather is better.
    The garden party was called off due to bad weather.
  2. Unpleasant or destructive atmospheric conditions, and their effects.
    Wooden garden furniture must be well oiled as it is continuously exposed to weather.
    Looks like there's going to be some weather today! We better stay inside!
  3. (nautical) The direction from which the wind is blowing; used attributively to indicate the windward side.
  4. (figuratively) A situation.

Derived terms

  • all-weather
  • all-weather tire
  • bad weather
  • fair-weather
  • good weather
  • under the weather
  • weather anchor
  • weather balloon
  • weather-beaten
  • weather forecast
  • weather front
  • weather gauge
  • weatherize
  • weatherly
  • weather map
  • weather radar
  • weather report
  • weather satellite
  • weather ship
  • weather vane
  • weathery


weather (not comparable)

  1. (sailing, geology) Facing towards the flow of a fluid, usually air.
    He was at the weather helm.


weather (third-person singular simple present weathers, present participle weathering, simple past and past participle weathered)

  1. To expose to the weather, or show the effects of such exposure, or to withstand such effects.
  2. To sustain the trying effect of; to bear up against and overcome; to endure; to resist.
  3. To break down, of rocks and other materials, under the effects of exposure to rain, sunlight, temperature, and air.
  4. To cause (rocks) to break down by crushing, grinding, and/or dissolving with acids.
  5. (nautical) To pass to windward in a vessel, especially to beat 'round.
    We need to weather the ship.
  6. (nautical) To endure or survive an event or action without undue damage.
    Joshua weathered a collision with a freighter near South Africa.
  7. (falconry) To place (a hawk) unhooded in the open air.

Derived terms

  • overweather
  • unweather
  • weather the storm


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: