One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hot, dry, dust-laden wind blowing in the desert, especially in Arabia.
- ‘It is subject to constant dust-laden winds variously known as sirocco, khamsin, simoom and harmattan.’
- ‘And then slowly, implacably, the weather changed, the desert began its insidious creep, the simoon started to scour the land and the hills with its harsh dragon's breath.’
- ‘Does he expect the Bedouins led by Rudolph Valentino to come sweeping like the simoom out of the desert?’
- ‘It is of old a native of the East, sister of the tornado, the earthquake, and the simoom.’
- ‘From this soil sprouts stately guitar arpeggios and hesitant piano refrains that occasionally meet billowing dark ambient winds and shrivel up like a flower of the desert that senses a simoon coming from afar.’
Late 18th century: from Arabic samūm, from samma ‘to poison’.
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