Definition of trade wind in US English:

trade wind


  • A wind blowing steadily towards the equator from the northeast in the northern hemisphere or the southeast 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.

    • ‘But with the southeast trade winds blowing, we vowed to return once the wind had abated.’
    • ‘The strong temperature contrast across the Pacific means the easterly trade winds will be enhanced for the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘‘The bottle travels with the trade winds and prevailing ocean currents, and winds up on the west coast of Scotland or Ireland,’ he said.’
    • ‘Prevailing trade winds transported them equatorward across the southern edge of Baltica to the Russian Platform.’
    • ‘In Namibia, the northwesterly trade wind is the trademark of August.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's 80 degrees, and there's a warm trade wind blowing in.’
    • ‘The trade winds from both hemispheres converge towards the doldrums and a zone of low pressure, the equatorial trough, that girdles the earth.’
    • ‘The southeast trade wind blows softly from the Coral Sea.’
    • ‘The highs provide the driving force behind the southeast trade winds which dominate the Territory's weather in the winter months.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Atlantic zone receives trade winds and has high rainfall year-round.’
    • ‘If we get the trade wind, a south westerly, our task will be that much easier but it's still a daunting prospect.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We've walked along gorgeous, empty beaches strewn with sun-baked coconuts and treasures blown in by northeastern trade winds.’
    • ‘The monsoon season begins in summer when northeast trade winds reverse direction and carry water-saturated air inland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Like the trade winds on Earth, these rivers of plasma transport gas beneath the Sun's fiery surface.’
    • ‘Normally, the trade winds blow west in the tropical Pacific.’
    • ‘Average air temperatures of 28°C and water temperatures only a shade lower, with a constant trade wind giving the islands an arid climate.’


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

/ˈtrād wind//ˈtreɪd wɪnd/