Definition of trade wind in English:

trade wind


  • A wind blowing steadily towards the equator from the north-east in the northern hemisphere or the south-east in the southern hemisphere, especially at sea. Two belts of trade winds encircle the earth, blowing from the tropical high-pressure belts to the low-pressure zone at the equator.

    • ‘It's 80 degrees, and there's a warm trade wind blowing in.’
    • ‘But with the southeast trade winds blowing, we vowed to return once the wind had abated.’
    • ‘The northeast trade winds further south, so called because they blow in this direction for much of the year, was where the sailing clippers used to head for guaranteed wind.’
    • ‘The trade winds from both hemispheres converge towards the doldrums and a zone of low pressure, the equatorial trough, that girdles the earth.’
    • ‘‘The bottle travels with the trade winds and prevailing ocean currents, and winds up on the west coast of Scotland or Ireland,’ he said.’
    • ‘The highs provide the driving force behind the southeast trade winds which dominate the Territory's weather in the winter months.’
    • ‘In Namibia, the northwesterly trade wind is the trademark of August.’
    • ‘Average air temperatures of 28°C and water temperatures only a shade lower, with a constant trade wind giving the islands an arid climate.’
    • ‘We've walked along gorgeous, empty beaches strewn with sun-baked coconuts and treasures blown in by northeastern trade winds.’
    • ‘Normally, the trade winds blow west in the tropical Pacific.’
    • ‘The strong temperature contrast across the Pacific means the easterly trade winds will be enhanced for the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘Most of the time the pretty steady, east-to-west trade winds ensure there is a breeze, but the air the trade winds bring is warm and humid.’
    • ‘The southeast trade wind blows softly from the Coral Sea.’
    • ‘The monsoon season begins in summer when northeast trade winds reverse direction and carry water-saturated air inland.’
    • ‘The shore, one of the most westerly in Africa, is cooled by the north-east trade winds, taking some of the edge off the searing tropical heat.’
    • ‘If we get the trade wind, a south westerly, our task will be that much easier but it's still a daunting prospect.’
    • ‘The Atlantic zone receives trade winds and has high rainfall year-round.’
    • ‘Prevailing trade winds transported them equatorward across the southern edge of Baltica to the Russian Platform.’
    • ‘The water is flat calm even as the region's stiff and steady easterly trade winds blow every day at 15-20 mph - absolutely perfect windsurfing conditions.’
    • ‘Like the trade winds on Earth, these rivers of plasma transport gas beneath the Sun's fiery surface.’


Mid 17th century: from the phrase blow trade ‘blow steadily in the same direction’. Because of the importance of these winds to navigation, 18th-century etymologists were led erroneously to connect the word trade with ‘commerce’.


trade wind