O.E. weder, from P.Gmc. *wedran

  • (cf. O.S. wedar, O.N. veðr, O.Fris., M.Du., Du. weder, O.H.G. wetar, Ger. Wetter "storm, wind, weather"), from PIE *we-dhro-, "weather," from base *we- "to blow" (see wind (n.)).
  • Spelling with -th- first appeared 15c., though pronunciation may be much older.
  • Verb sense of "come through safely" is from 1655; that of "wear away by exposure" is from 1757. Weather-beaten is from 1530. Under the weather "indisposed" is from 1827. Weatherman "one who observes the weather" is attested from 1901.
  • Gk. had words for "good weather" (aithria, eudia) and words for "storm" and "winter," but no generic word for "weather" until kairos (lit. "time") began to be used as such in Byzantine times.
  • L. tempestas "weather" (see tempest) also originally meant "time;" and words for "time" also came to mean weather in Ir. (aimsir), Serbo-Cr. (vrijeme), Pol. (czas), etc.


"violent storm," c.1250, from O.Fr. tempeste (11c.), from V.L. *tempesta, from L. tempestas (gen. tempestatis) "storm, weather, season," also "commotion, disturbance," related to tempus "time, season."

  • Sense evolution is from "period of time" to "period of weather," to "bad weather" to "storm."
  • Words for "weather" were originally words for "time" in languages from Russia to Brittany.
  • Fig. sense of "violent commotion" is recorded from c.1315. Tempestuous is attested from 1447.