1the perceptible natural movement of the air, especially in the form of a current of air blowing from a particular direction:the wind howled about the buildingan easterly wind [mass noun]:gusts of wind
used with reference to an impending situation:he had seen which way the wind was blowing
the rush of air caused by a fast-moving body.
a scent carried by the wind, indicating the presence or proximity of an animal or person.
2 [mass noun] breath as needed in physical exertion, speech, etc., or the power of breathing without difficulty in such situations:he waited while Jez got his wind backshe hit the floor with a thud that knocked the wind out of her
3 [mass noun]British air swallowed while eating or gas generated in the stomach and intestines by digestion.
empty, pompous, or boastful talk; meaningless rhetoric.
4 (also winds) [treated as singular or plural] wind instruments, or specifically woodwind instruments, forming a band or a section of an orchestra:these passages are most suitable for wind alone [as modifier]:wind players
1cause (someone) to have difficulty breathing because of exertion or a blow to the stomach:the fall nearly winded him
2British make (a baby) bring up wind after feeding by patting its back:Paddy’s wife handed him their six-month-old daughter to be winded
3detect the presence of (a person or animal) by scent:the birds could not have seen us or winded us
4 /wʌɪnd/ (past and past participle winded or wound /waʊnd/) literary sound (a bugle or call) by blowing:but scarce again his horn he wound
before the wind
Sailing with the wind blowing from astern:a white-hulled yacht ran before the wind
get wind of
informal begin to suspect that (something) is happening; hear a rumour of:Mortimer got wind of a plot being hatched
[referring originally to the scent of game in hunting]
it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good
proverb few things are so bad that no one profits from them.
like the wind
very quickly:she ran like the wind back to the house
off the wind
Sailing with the wind on the quarter.
on a wind
Sailing against a wind on either bow.
put (or have) the wind up
British informal alarm or frighten (or be alarmed or frightened):Frank was trying to put the wind up him so that he would be too agitated to think clearly
sail close to (or near) the wind
1 Sailing sail as nearly against the wind as is consistent with using its force.
2 informal verge on indecency, dishonesty, or disaster.
take the wind out of someone's sails
frustrate someone by unexpectedly anticipating an action or remark.
to the wind (s) (or the four winds)
in all directions:my little flock scatters to the four winds
so as to be abandoned or neglected:I threw my friends' advice to the winds
[from ‘And fear of death deliver to the winds’ (Milton's Paradise Lost)]
the wind of change
an influence or tendency that cannot be resisted.
[popularized by Harold Macmillan's use of the phrase in a 1960 speech]