Definition of katabatic in English:



  • (of a wind) caused by local downward motion of cool air.

    • ‘The most famous katabatic wind in Europe is the Mistral, which blows down the Rhône valley in southern France and out into the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘This was the katabatic wind rolling down off the polar plateau, picking up speed from the slow gravitational forces that pulled it downwards over the vast expanses of ice.’
    • ‘As a result of katabatic winds, temperatures in valleys and low lying areas can be significantly lower…’
    • ‘The most extreme type of katabatic wind is found in the Antarctic where cold gusts of wind surge across the polar ice caps.’
    • ‘The huts must stand up to the monster katabatic winds that reach up to 300 kph.’


Late 19th century: from Greek katabatikos, from katabainein ‘go down’.