Definition of cyclone in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌɪkləʊn/


1A system of winds rotating inwards to an area of low barometric pressure, with an anticlockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation; a depression.
Example sentences
  • Visitors were told how weather data which flow in continuously from around 500 weather stations all over the country are analysed, plotted on maps and then low pressure zones determined to forecast depressions and cyclones.
  • Japhet hit northern Mozambique last week and is the second cyclone to devastate the southern African country this year.
  • He believes climate change is also increasing the severity of cyclones and hurricanes, which are now appearing in areas never seen before, and outside their normal weather pattern.
1.1 another term for tropical storm.
Example sentences
  • Already we are witnessing numerous irregularities and disturbances in the climatic system - heat waves, floods, squalls, storms, cyclones and thunderstorms.
  • Hurricanes and other cyclones that form in the tropics during summer and fall are very different from the extratropical storms that often form during winter even though both can produce very strong winds and flooding rain.
  • Due to the intensive rainfall and high temperatures, disastrous weather such as thunder storms and cyclones are likely to occur.
hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, storm, superstorm, tornado, windstorm, whirlwind, tempest
Australian/New Zealand informal willy-willy
North American informal twister



Pronunciation: /sʌɪˈklɒnɪk/
Example sentences
  • Extreme weather events such as heat waves, heavy precipitation events, floods, draughts, fires, pest outbreaks and severe cyclonic storms are projected to increase.
  • There's a cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal, about 600 km east southeast of Chennai.
  • January's dry season will not be broken by cyclonic rains as had been expected.


Pronunciation: /sʌɪˈklɒnɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • When splitting occurs, a cyclonically rotating updraft propagates to the right of the mean wind, while an anticyclonically rotating one moves to the left.
  • In cold advection the cyclonically rotating ascent to the right is opposed by decent forced by the linear pressure perturbation.
  • This interaction causes the warm air to be cyclonically lifted vertically into the atmosphere where it combines with colder upper atmosphere air.


Mid 19th century: probably from Greek kuklōma 'wheel, coil of a snake', from kuklos 'circle'. The change of spelling from -m to -n is unexplained.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cyc|lone

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.