Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cold north wind of the Swiss Alps and nearby regions of France and Italy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of bice (blue pigment)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cold north wind which prevails on the northern coasts of the Mediterranean and in Switzerland, etc.; -- nearly the same as the mistral.
  • n. See bice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dry cold north and northeast wind, prevailing especially in Provence and the Rhône valley, and very destructive to vegetation, so that “to be struck by the bise” has become a proverb in Provence, meaning to be overtaken by misfortune: nearly the same as mistral.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dry cold north wind in southeastern France

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • A wind called the bise had been blowing for the last twenty-four hours, and when we left Vevey the gale was so strong, that the steam-boat had great difficulty in getting ahead.

    A Residence in France

  • The root of a small creeper called "bise" is dug up and eaten.

    A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and its tributaries And of the Discovery of Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa, 1858-1864

  • George W. Bush, but he appeared slightly at sea with the complicated customs regarding the "bise," the kiss on the cheeks often given as a greeting even between relative strangers.

    Yahoo! News: Latest news headlines News Headlines | Top Stories

  • Just before his encounter with Dervogne, Obama did not offer the "bise" to Sarkozy's wife Carla, preferring to shake hands formally.

    Reuters: Top News

  • Obama is wildly popular in France, in contrast to his predecessor George W. Bush, but he appeared slightly at sea with the complicated customs regarding the "bise," the kiss on the cheeks often given as a greeting even between relative strangers.

    Reuters: Top News

  • While the President of the United States may have been unaware of the French custom of "bise", the kiss on the cheeks given as a greeting, offering Carla Sarkozy, the wife of the French president, a firm hand instead of warm cheek, he was briefed on

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  • While the President of the United States may have been unaware of the French custom of "bise", the kiss on the cheeks given as a greeting, offering Carla Sarkozy, the wife of the French president, a firm hand instead of warm cheek, he was briefed on his mission to drum into a delighted audience of young people, as well as the world's media, the perils faced by Europe if Afghanistan is not secured and al-Qaeda emerges triumphant.

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  • BTW, when I click on the second photo of the wagon, I get the “rideaux brise-bise” picture instead ...

    la routine - French Word-A-Day

  • From the social bise and baisemain, or traditional kiss of the hand greeting, to the multiple definitions of seduire, and even the overtly sexual commercials, Sciolino covers them all.

    Louise McCready: La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life

  • Another thing I learned was "faire la bise" -- the traditional Moroccan greeting.

    YES: American Student Finds Family in Morocco on YES Abroad Program

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Comments

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  • The bise is a northern wind, cold and generally dry, that blows from the north-east of France to the south of the Massif Central, where it is called bise noire ("black bise").

    Blowing year-round, the bise is usually accompanied by clear blue skies. However, it can sometimes bring heavy black clouds, storms and hail in autumn and winter.

    In colloquial French, the word "bise" also means a light kiss, usually given to a friend in greeting or before parting.

    August 19, 2009