Definition of weather in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈweT͟Hər/


1The state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc. if the weather’s good, we can go for a walk
More example sentences
  • Due to the bad weather, torrential rain and wind, the game was halted after the first half.
  • After basking in hot summer sunshine, the weather broke and torrential rain and flash floods brought chaos across Greater Manchester.
  • The Met Office has predicted an unsettled period of weather with rain and wind.
forecast, outlook;
meteorological conditions, climate, atmospheric pressure, temperature;
1.1Cold, wet, and unpleasant or unpredictable atmospheric conditions; the elements: stone walls provide shelter from wind and weather
More example sentences
  • We shelter from the weather under a clump of trees.
  • Attaching these to a wall or covering in on one or two sides will help protect those using the shelter from the weather.
1.2 [as modifier] Denoting the side from which the wind is blowing, especially on board a ship; windward: the weather side of the yacht Contrasted with lee.
More example sentences
  • Take the man alongside your boat so the man is on the weather side of your boat.
  • Normal deck duties were not possible, so we continually chipped ice from the weather side, as the sea froze on the deck.
  • The second attempt was made by running in from the stern and passing close down the weather side.


[with object]
1Wear away or change the appearance or texture of (something) by long exposure to the air: his skin was weathered almost black by his long outdoor life
More example sentences
  • Old, his face was weathered and wrinkled, but he always had a smile for the strange woman and her sporadic emotional outbursts.
  • A small crevice in the cliff allowed them passage, into a very small, shadowy space between many boulders and the remains of a gnarled, weathered tree.
  • Bill Harney has the gnarled hands and weathered hat of a lifetime's work with cattle.
weather-beaten, worn;
tanned, bronzed;
lined, creased, wrinkled, gnarled, gnarly
1.1 [no object] (Of rock or other material) be worn away or altered by long exposure to the air: the ice sheet preserves specimens that would weather away more quickly in other regions
More example sentences
  • Materials have weathered well in the ten years since the building was completed.
  • Requiring no artificial preservative, the wood weathers naturally and turning silver with age will merge into water and sky.
  • As carbonate rocks weather, the insoluble fractions are introduced into the cave deposits.
1.2 (usually as noun weathering) Falconry Allow (a hawk) to spend a period perched on a block in the open air.
Example sentences
  • Bobby hoisted his one-year-old son, Aidan, into a backpack and went to transfer two pet hawks from their outdoor weathering perch to an indoor mews.
  • The outdoor facilities are often called the ‘weathering areas’; these areas should be covered with wire or netting or roofed, so that the Red Tailed Hawk is not bothered by other animals.
  • General weathering is very important for young birds.
2Come safely through (a storm).
Example sentences
  • His ships weathered the storm, sailed west and reached Honduras in Central America.
  • He aides the Master of the ship in trying to weather the storm.
  • Vessels sheltering in the marina seemed to weather the storms very successfully.
2.1Withstand (a difficulty or danger): this year has tested industry’s ability to weather recession
More example sentences
  • The news was welcomed by traders in the city who have weathered a difficult winter, as they vowed to keep up the momentum.
  • We have been able, therefore, to weather a very difficult economic climate.
  • ‘We have successfully weathered the most difficult times in recent years,’ chairman and managing director Lo Yuk-sui said.
survive, come through, ride out, pull through;
withstand, endure, rise above, surmount, overcome, resist, brave
informal stick out
2.2 Sailing (Of a ship) get to the windward of (a cape or other obstacle).
Example sentences
  • The ship could not weather the Cape Jackson point and was gradually driven on the lee shore.
3Make (boards or tiles) overlap downward to keep out rain.
3.1(In building) slope or bevel (a surface) to throw off rain.



keep a weather eye on

Observe very carefully, especially for changes or developments.
Example sentences
  • The legislation sets strict rules on how such data may be used and displayed, levying fines for serious breaches, so it's worth keeping a weather eye on to stay within the law.
  • It is important that we do keep a weather eye on the horizon, watching for any significant indications that cyber terror actually will appear.
  • Throughout this debate I have expressed an opinion in favour of removing the offending articles while keeping a weather eye on the wider political agenda.

make heavy weather of

informal Have unnecessary difficulty in dealing with (a task or problem).
From the nautical phrase make good or bad weather of it, referring to a ship in a storm
Example sentences
  • But Councillor Steve Galloway said: ‘I think we are making heavy weather of it all.’
  • Almost week by week the evidence grows of a strengthening and sustainable recovery in the US while the continental economies continue to make heavy weather of a global pick-up.
  • For a serious woman who can make heavy weather of life, she has a very sunny side.

under the weather

informal Slightly unwell or in low spirits.
Example sentences
  • I feel sick, have a painful headache and feel a bit under the weather, but I know that if I push myself and get out of bed I will feel better.
  • And every time I go for a stroll by the river when I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I come back home wondering why I felt so poorly in the first place.
  • So I'm more than a bit under the weather at present.


Old English weder, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch weer and German Wetter, probably also to the noun wind1.

  • wither from Late Middle English:

    Wither and weather (Old English) seem to be the same word, the different forms coming to be used for different senses. Weather itself is from a Germanic root linked to wind. The phrase wither away originated in early 20th century tracts about Marxist philosophy describing the decline of the state after a dictatorship has effected changes in society such that the state's domination is no longer necessary.

Words that rhyme with weather

altogether, feather, heather, leather, nether, tether, together, wether, whether

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: weath·er

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.