Definition of weather in English:



  • 1The state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.

    ‘if the weather's good, we can go for a walk’
    • ‘You have all the elements of a potential disaster in the making, speed, unpredictable elements, cold weather and mountains.’
    • ‘Melbourne is well known for its unpredictable weather but today's cold snap was one for the history books.’
    • ‘The weather is also unpredictable: it can be cold, hot or raining; you just don't know what to expect.’
    • ‘After basking in hot summer sunshine, the weather broke and torrential rain and flash floods brought chaos across Greater Manchester.’
    • ‘A Met Office spokesman said that the cold weather would continue until Sunday, when it should become milder.’
    • ‘The Met Office has predicted an unsettled period of weather with rain and wind.’
    • ‘What's the weather like where you are?’
    • ‘Due to the bad weather, torrential rain and wind, the game was halted after the first half.’
    • ‘Forecasters said the UK would take on a tropical feel, with sticky and muggy weather making conditions unpleasant.’
    • ‘The work was due to start on January 5 but was delayed due to bad weather.’
    • ‘The forecast is for brighter weather after days of rain.’
    • ‘He said the trek had been something of an ordeal over difficult terrain and there had been days of miserable weather with wind, rain and snow.’
    • ‘Approximately 700 cyclists braved inclement weather as well as Friday night traffic to cause a little non-polluting road congestion.’
    • ‘Severe wintry weather is expected to continue over the weekend.’
    • ‘We need some rain though and dry weather has been forecast up to Thursday.’
    • ‘This work will be carried out in the near future weather permitting.’
    • ‘We are two thirds of the way through the winter season without any cold weather or significant snowfall.’
    • ‘The launch had twice been postponed due to bad weather.’
    • ‘During the winter, its southerly location guarantees warm weather and sunshine when our own more northerly climes turn bleak.’
    • ‘The cold weather has been suddenly replaced by warm humid conditions.’
    meteorological conditions, atmospheric conditions, meteorology, climate
    temperature, humidity, cloud cover, wind speed, atmospheric pressure
    forecast, outlook
    met, met report
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Cold, wet, and unpleasant or unpredictable atmospheric conditions; the elements.
      ‘stone walls provide shelter from wind and weather’
      • ‘Attaching these to a wall or covering in on one or two sides will help protect those using the shelter from the weather.’
      • ‘We shelter from the weather under a clump of trees.’
    2. 1.2[as modifier]Denoting the side from which the wind is blowing, especially on board a ship; windward.
      ‘the weather side of the yacht’
      Contrasted with lee
      • ‘Normal deck duties were not possible, so we continually chipped ice from the weather side, as the sea froze on the deck.’
      • ‘The second attempt was made by running in from the stern and passing close down the weather side.’
      • ‘Take the man alongside your boat so the man is on the weather side of your boat.’


  • 1Wear away or change the appearance or texture of (something) by long exposure to the air.

    [with object and complement] ‘his skin was weathered almost black by his long outdoor life’
    • ‘The materials used on the exteriors give the house a pleasing, weathered appearance.’
    • ‘A small crevice in the cliff allowed them passage, into a very small, shadowy space between many boulders and the remains of a gnarled, weathered tree.’
    • ‘Little by little, she was making repairs, yet trying to maintain the authentic feel of the place, using older, more weathered wood.’
    • ‘Missing limbs, missing teeth, scars and weathered skin were abundant.’
    • ‘Old, his face was weathered and wrinkled, but he always had a smile for the strange woman and her sporadic emotional outbursts.’
    • ‘His frame was aged and weathered, but he did not look old by any means.’
    • ‘He is believed to be in his late 20s and he is said to have a weathered, worn face.’
    • ‘Her frame was small, her back was bent, and her skin was weathered, but her vigorous soul persevered.’
    • ‘He had an old, rough, grizzled face, quite aged and weathered, and his eyes were a deep, deep blue, like chips of ice.’
    • ‘The lining, pure silk, may be dropping off out of old age, but the thick, weathered wool still does its job.’
    • ‘Their vegetation, mostly scrub pine, is noticeably weathered from the fierce storms that punish this area.’
    • ‘Only in the color difference between new and weathered limestone are there obvious hints at the distinction.’
    • ‘The bricks had been weathered and the stone and brickwork needed repairing.’
    • ‘Bill Harney has the gnarled hands and weathered hat of a lifetime's work with cattle.’
    weather-beaten, eroded, worn, disintegrating, crumbling
    bleached, discoloured, tanned, bronzed
    lined, creased, wrinkled, wizened, shrivelled, gnarled
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    1. 1.1[no object](of rock or other material) be worn away or altered by long exposure to the air.
      ‘the ice sheet preserves specimens that would weather away more quickly in other regions’
      • ‘Wood weathers with age and expands and contracts according to weather conditions.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, some rocks weather into a sort of brown almost burnt crust on the outside, so that can be confusing.’
      • ‘Over the years, the paint has weathered and faded.’
      • ‘Suffice it to say, different minerals weather and grow at different rates within higher organisms, just as they do in the ambient environment.’
      • ‘Weeds surrounded what once appeared to be beautiful landscaping, the paint had weathered and was peeling in some spots, and a gutter leaned against the building by the door.’
      • ‘But all too often, these structures are simply left to weather away with little or no thought to their upkeep.’
      • ‘As the fossils weather out of their matrix, they break into pieces and disperse; complete specimens are rare.’
      • ‘I've grown quite fond of this lumpy monolith since; I accept the architect's argument that small office spaces don't demand big windows, and Portland stone weathers better than concrete.’
      • ‘When starting a car after a long period of inactivity, it often feels sluggish and un-responsive. This is often because the fuel has weathered.’
      • ‘A lot of the old revenue service paint had weathered off over the years in the more exposed locations although there was plenty left.’
      • ‘Materials have weathered well in the ten years since the building was completed.’
      • ‘Sometimes iron sulfides have weathered, staining the quartz an orange color, both on the surface and within the crystals themselves.’
      • ‘In some cases parents had built classrooms for a school, only to see them slowly weather away; in a few cases teachers had taken a hand in the building.’
      • ‘A small hammer and chisel could be used, but we found more crystals that had weathered from the rock then we could collect.’
      • ‘Requiring no artificial preservative, the wood weathers naturally and turning silver with age will merge into water and sky.’
      • ‘Because of the intensely dry climate, steel weathers quickly but does not rust through, so it was not necessary to use costly proprietary types of oxydized steel cladding.’
      • ‘There's a sense that the rock has weathered differently in different places.’
      • ‘If you choose not to apply a stain or preservative, the wood will weather naturally.’
      • ‘As carbonate rocks weather, the insoluble fractions are introduced into the cave deposits.’
      • ‘Another option to consider is to allow the wood to weather naturally.’
    2. 1.2Sport Allow (a hawk) to spend a period perched on a block in the open air.
      • ‘General weathering is very important for young birds.’
      • ‘The outdoor facilities are often called the ‘weathering areas’; these areas should be covered with wire or netting or roofed, so that the Red Tailed Hawk is not bothered by other animals.’
      • ‘Bobby hoisted his one-year-old son, Aidan, into a backpack and went to transfer two pet hawks from their outdoor weathering perch to an indoor mews.’
  • 2Come safely through (a storm)

    • ‘The Challenger crew sighted their first iceberg on February 10, 1874, after weathering a storm of such ferocity that the ship was forced to run under treble-reefed topsails.’
    • ‘He aides the Master of the ship in trying to weather the storm.’
    • ‘On top of these requirements they had to be strong enough to weather the storms of the Channel and the dramatic tide differences of the Normandy coast.’
    • ‘His ships weathered the storm, sailed west and reached Honduras in Central America.’
    • ‘Vessels sheltering in the marina seemed to weather the storms very successfully.’
    1. 2.1Withstand (a difficulty or danger)
      ‘this year has tested industry's ability to weather recession’
      • ‘But if the euro-zone economy is to weather future downturns better, the process must start.’
      • ‘‘We have successfully weathered the most difficult times in recent years,’ chairman and managing director Lo Yuk-sui said.’
      • ‘Take comfort in the fact that Richmond has been around for over 5,000 years and has successfully weathered countless earthquakes.’
      • ‘But he appears to have weathered the transition well, and this team should be stronger in the second half as it continues to jell.’
      • ‘Anglo-American air power relations have successfully weathered serious political tensions because leaders have focused on strategic goals.’
      • ‘The family feel an immense sense of satisfaction after weathering all the dangers to reach Australia, where they are building a new life with friends and family who are already there.’
      • ‘The database giant appears to have weathered the downturn.’
      • ‘We have been able, therefore, to weather a very difficult economic climate.’
      • ‘Overall, the company is cutting costs and making profits, weathering the difficult economic conditions very well.’
      • ‘Defensive companies are those businesses that are said to weather economic downturns better than most.’
      • ‘Hunter-gatherer societies, for example, weathered more ups and downs in food availability.’
      • ‘I was trying to make sure that we weathered the onslaught of the Asian economic crisis.’
      • ‘The news was welcomed by traders in the city who have weathered a difficult winter, as they vowed to keep up the momentum.’
      • ‘After weathering the Asian crisis, the city is fast losing its competitive advantage.’
      • ‘The country has successfully weathered the painful transition from authoritarianism to participatory government.’
      • ‘For this orchestra has weathered centuries of political unrest and revolution in its homeland.’
      • ‘The British economy over the same period grew by 2.8% and has weathered the recent downturn better.’
      • ‘But many more similar measures are needed to help businesses weather the extremely difficult conditions ahead.’
      • ‘Religious publications also appear to have weathered the downturn in religious practice.’
      • ‘By the 1760s, therefore, it seemed that the church had successfully weathered a century of intense religious conflict.’
      survive, come through, get through, ride out, live through, pull through, outlast, outlive
      withstand, stand up to, bear up against, stand, endure, rise above, surmount, overcome, resist
      stick out
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    2. 2.2Sailing (of a ship) get to the windward of (a cape or other obstacle)
      • ‘The ship could not weather the Cape Jackson point and was gradually driven on the lee shore.’
  • 3Make (boards or tiles) overlap downward to keep out rain.

    1. 3.1(in building) slope or bevel (a surface) to throw off rain.


  • keep a weather eye on

    • Observe very carefully, especially for changes or developments.

      • ‘Although Richard had never had young children at the fort before, it couldn't have been a better environment for them to explore independently, with enough caring staff to keep a weather eye on their activities.’
      • ‘It is right to keep a weather eye on the progress of avian flu, and to expect a properly prepared government to be stockpiling vaccines, quarantining infected areas and keeping us informed.’
      • ‘Throughout this debate I have expressed an opinion in favour of removing the offending articles while keeping a weather eye on the wider political agenda.’
      • ‘The legislation sets strict rules on how such data may be used and displayed, levying fines for serious breaches, so it's worth keeping a weather eye on to stay within the law.’
      • ‘It's hardly surprising that Federal Reserve policymakers now keep a weather eye on the stock market.’
      • ‘All it takes is to claim all the allowances to which you are entitled and keep a weather eye on the tax implications when deciding where to invest your hard-won savings.’
      • ‘This list of deadlines for the year should help you keep a weather eye on the best deals, sound alarm bells when the moment is right to dump failing investments and avoid being hit by late-payment penalties.’
      • ‘It is important that we do keep a weather eye on the horizon, watching for any significant indications that cyber terror actually will appear.’
      observe, view, look at, eye, gaze at, stare at, gape at, peer at
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  • make heavy weather of

    • informal Have unnecessary difficulty in dealing with (a task or problem)

      • ‘We made heavy weather of our 31-11 win in London but Gary was world class.’
      • ‘Stranraer made heavy weather of beating Dumbarton 2-0 at Stair Park.’
      • ‘But Councillor Steve Galloway said: ‘I think we are making heavy weather of it all.’’
      • ‘For a serious woman who can make heavy weather of life, she has a very sunny side.’
      • ‘The company is making heavy weather of reducing its debt mountain.’
      • ‘Upbeat Scotland coach Ian McGeechan and skipper Budge Pountney last night denied that their side had made heavy weather of beating the Samoans in the Murrayfield rain.’
      • ‘But they made heavy weather of beating Uganda in their first clash inside the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala last October.’
      • ‘Cork, of whom great things were expected early in the year, have struggled throughout the series and again made heavy weather of beating Wexford in the qualifier.’
      • ‘Almost week by week the evidence grows of a strengthening and sustainable recovery in the US while the continental economies continue to make heavy weather of a global pick-up.’
      • ‘While Australians as individuals are richly talented, we do seem to make heavy weather of reforming outdated institutions, perhaps for the very reason that they have been historically successful.’
  • under the weather

    • informal Slightly unwell or in low spirits.

      • ‘So I'm more than a bit under the weather at present.’
      • ‘I didn't go to the gym yesterday because I was a little under the weather.’
      • ‘Cooper has been a little under the weather since we got back from Hawaii.’
      • ‘I've been feeling under the weather lately, so I decided to stay in bed this morning and get some much needed sleep.’
      • ‘And every time I go for a stroll by the river when I'm feeling a bit under the weather, I come back home wondering why I felt so poorly in the first place.’
      • ‘Your GP is always there if you feel under the weather.’
      • ‘Consequently, today I am a bit tired and under the weather.’
      • ‘One of our hens is a bit under the weather at the moment.’
      • ‘I feel sick, have a painful headache and feel a bit under the weather, but I know that if I push myself and get out of bed I will feel better.’
      • ‘And then yesterday I retired to my sickbed, feeling decidedly under the weather, and am still not on top form today.’
      ill, unwell, indisposed, ailing, poorly, not well, not very well, not oneself, not in good shape, out of sorts, not up to par, below par, under par, peaky, liverish
      sick, queasy, nauseous
      off colour
      not up to snuff, funny, peculiar, crummy, lousy, rough
      ropy, grotty
      queer, seedy
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Old English weder, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch weer and German Wetter, probably also to the noun wind.