An oppressive, hot southerly or south-easterly wind blowing in Egypt in spring.
- It is subject to constant dust-laden winds variously known as sirocco, khamsin, simoom and harmattan.
- There is also a great description of a khamsin, the sandstorm wind, and I can vouch for Sussman's accuracy, having been terrified silly by enduring such a phenomenon myself, even though I was in the comparative safety of Cairo.
- Fierce winds - the khamsin and the ghibli - threw dust into men's faces, obscuring the battlefield.
Late 17th century: from Arabic khamsīn, from khamsūn 'fifty' (being the approximate duration in days).
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