Definitions

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

  • n. A wind system that influences large climatic regions and reverses direction seasonally.
  • n. A wind from the southwest or south that brings heavy rainfall to southern Asia in the summer.
  • n. The rain that accompanies this wind.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a number of winds associated with regions where most rain falls during a particular season.
  • n. Tropical rainy season when the rain lasts for several months with few interruptions.
  • n. The rains themselves.
  • n. Entire meteorological systems with such characteristics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wind blowing part of the year from one direction, alternating with a wind from the opposite direction; -- a term applied particularly to periodical winds of the Indian Ocean, which blow from the southwest from the latter part of May to the middle of September, and from the northeast from about the middle of October to the middle of December.
  • n. A heavy rainfall in India associated with the southwest monsoon{1}.
  • n. The season in which the monsoon{2} occurs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wind occurring in the alternation of the trade-winds in India and the north Indian ocean.
  • n. Any of the winds that have annual alternations of direction and velocity, arising from differences of temperature between continents or islands and the surrounding ocean.

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

  • n. rainy season in southern Asia when the southwestern monsoon blows, bringing heavy rains
  • n. a seasonal wind in southern Asia; blows from the southwest (bringing rain) in summer and from the northeast in winter
  • n. any wind that changes direction with the seasons

Etymologies

Obsolete Dutch monssoen, from Portuguese monção, from Arabic mawsim, season, from wasama, to mark; see wsm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic موسم (mausim, "season"), from وسم (wásama, "to mark, to brand"), through Portuguese monção and Dutch moesson. [2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term monsoon, or "monsun," I may explain, is derived from an Arabic word, _mausim_, meaning "a set time, or season of the year;" and is generally applied to a system of regular wind currents, like the Trades, blowing in different hemispheres beyond the range of those old customers with which ordinary voyagers are familiar.

    On Board the Esmeralda Martin Leigh's Log - A Sea Story

  • We're looking for more rain for Myanmar, and this is just really the beginning of what we call the monsoon season.

    CNN Transcript May 17, 2008

  • The threat's going to be ongoing though because we're in what we call the monsoon season, where afternoon thunderstorms are prevalent in the mountains hit and miss.

    CNN Transcript Jul 23, 2007

  • (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); However, the term monsoon refers not only to the summer rains but to the entire cycle that consists of both summer moist onshore winds and rain from the south as well as the offshore dry winter winds that blow from the continent to the Indian Ocean.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • Sure, the Vampires are being held off, but I see that lasting about as long as a parasol in monsoon season.

    Strangeways: The Thirsty – Page 082 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • That there has been a slight Melanesian drift in the period of the northwest monsoon, is also evident.

    MAUKI

  • The Indian Ocean was a particular surprise, as large portions of the ocean were seen to "light up" seasonally with changes in monsoon winds.

    NASA Watch: May 2009 Archives

  • The rainfall, resulting from the Guinean monsoon, is always scattered and unpredictable, declining towards the north and east.

    Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves, Niger

  • The south end of the range experiences the southwesterly monsoon from the ocean and the north end dry northeasterly harmattan winds from the desert.

    Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire

  • Then, in June, comes the monsoon from the south, up from the Bay of Bengal.

    Waterworld

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