Definition of sirocco in US English:


(also scirocco)


  • A hot wind, often dusty or rainy, blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to southern Europe.

    • ‘Next morning the sky is cloudy and the sea calm, but a sirocco wind is predicted for late afternoon.’
    • ‘The warm sirocco that blows off the Sahara often makes the sea rough along southern shores, and all diving is then done on the north shore.’
    • ‘The sirocco of North Africa can afflict the vineyards of southern Europe, occasionally reaching France.’
    • ‘The warm sirocco wind blowing up from the Sahara can make diving conditions rough off southern coasts in spring and summer.’


Early 17th century: via French from Italian scirocco, based on Spanish Arabic šalūq ‘east wind’.