Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tropical cyclone occurring in the western Pacific or Indian Oceans.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A violent hurricane occurring in the China seas and their environs, principally during the months of July, August, September, and October

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A violent whirlwind; specifically, a violent whirlwind occurring in the Chinese seas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A weather phenomenon in the Eastern Pacific that is precisely equivalent to a hurricane, which results in wind speeds of 64 knots (118km/h) or above. Equivalent to a cyclone in the Indian Ocean and Indonesia/Australia.

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

  • noun a tropical cyclone occurring in the western Pacific or Indian oceans

Etymologies

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

[Alteration (influenced by Chinese terms for typhoons, perhaps Cantonese toi2fung1, typhoon, and kindred terms) of earlier English tuffon, tufan, deluge, from Hindi and Urdu tūfān, storm of wind and rain, flood, from Arabic ṭūfān, deluge, from Greek tuphōn, Typhon, whirlwind.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably ultimately of Sinitic origin, Mandarin 大风 (dàfēng, "big wind"), Cantonese 大風 (daai6 fung1, "big wind"), via Arabic طوفان (ṭūfān), Hindi तूफ़ान (tūfān), and Persian توفان (tufân). Given the location of typhoons as a Pacific Ocean phenomenon, it is more likely it began east and moved west. Ancient Greek Τυφῶν (Tuphōn, "Typhon, father of the winds") is unrelated but has secondarily contaminated the word.

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