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

  • n. A violent, cold, northeasterly winter wind on the Adriatic Sea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A initiation ceremony for males among the Aborigines of New South Wales.
  • n. A cold, often dry, northeasterly wind which blows, sometimes in violent gusts, down from mountains on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea. It also applies to cold, squally, downslope winds in other parts of the world.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name given on the coasts of the Adriatic sea to a violent dry wind blowing from a northeasterly direction.
  • n. A ceremony of the natives of eastern Australia by which a boy is admitted to the rights of manhood.


Italian dialectal, from Latin Boreās, Boreas; see Boreas.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Gamilaraay būru. (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from a dialectal form of Italian borea ("north wind"), from Latin Boreās. (Wiktionary)



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  • I am skeptical of the etymology provided above (from the classical name of the north wind, Boreas). Almost certainly, the Italians of the northern Adriatic shores borrowed this word from their Slovene and Croatian neighbors, who call this wind burja, a word that goes back to Old Slavic, meaning "windstorm", and that shares the same Indo-European root as the English word furious.

    September 7, 2011

  • "'... only you want to have two anchors out ahead almost to the bitter end if the bora sets in.'"
    --P. O'Brian, The Hundred Days, 118

    March 25, 2008