before the wind

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wind 1

a. Moving air, especially a natural and perceptible movement of air parallel to or along the ground.
b. A movement of air generated artificially, as by bellows or a fan.
a. The direction from which a movement of air comes: The wind is north-northwest.
b. A movement of air coming from one of the four cardinal points of the compass: the four winds.
3. Moving air carrying sound, an odor, or a scent.
a. Breath, especially normal or adequate breathing; respiration: had the wind knocked out of them.
b. Gas produced in the stomach or intestines during digestion; flatulence.
5. often winds Music
a. The brass and woodwinds sections of a band or orchestra.
b. Wind instruments or their players considered as a group.
c. Woodwinds.
a. Something that disrupts or destroys: the winds of war.
b. A tendency; a trend: the winds of change.
7. Information, especially of something concealed; intimation: Trouble will ensue if wind of this scandal gets out.
a. Speech or writing empty of meaning; verbiage: His remarks on the subject are nothing but wind.
b. Vain self-importance; pomposity: an expert who was full of wind even before becoming famous.
tr.v. wind·ed, wind·ing, winds
1. To expose to free movement of air; ventilate or dry.
a. To detect the smell of; catch a scent of.
b. To pursue by following a scent.
3. To cause to be out of or short of breath.
4. To afford a recovery of breath: stopped to wind and water the horses.
before the wind Nautical
In the same direction the wind is blowing.
close to/near the wind
1. Nautical As close as possible to the direction the wind is blowing from.
2. Close to danger.
down the wind
Nautical Downwind.
in the wind
Likely to occur; in the offing: Big changes are in the wind.
into the wind
Nautical In the same or nearly the same direction as the wind is blowing from.
off the wind Nautical
In a direction that is not as close as possible to the direction the wind is blowing from.
on the wind Nautical
Close to the wind.
take the wind out of (one's) sails
To rob of an advantage; deflate.
under the wind
1. Nautical To the leeward.
2. In a location protected from the wind.
up the wind Nautical

[Middle English, from Old English; see wē- in Indo-European roots.]

wind 2

v. wound (wound), wind·ing, winds
1. To wrap (something) around a center or another object once or repeatedly: wind string around a spool.
2. To wrap or encircle (an object) in a series of coils; entwine: wound her injured leg with a bandage; wound the waist of the gown with lace and ribbons.
a. To go along (a curving or twisting course): wind a path through the mountains.
b. To proceed on (one's way) with a curving or twisting course.
4. To introduce in a disguised or devious manner; insinuate: He wound a plea for money into his letter.
5. To turn (a crank, for example) in a series of circular motions.
a. To coil the spring of (a mechanism) by turning a stem or cord, for example: wind a watch.
b. To coil (thread, for example), as onto a spool or into a ball.
c. To remove or unwind (thread, for example), as from a spool: wound the line off the reel.
7. To lift or haul by means of a windlass or winch: Wind the pail to the top of the well.
1. To move in or have a curving or twisting course: a river winding through a valley.
a. To move in or have a spiral or circular course: a column of smoke winding into the sky.
b. To be coiled or spiraled: The vine wound about the trellis.
3. To be twisted or whorled into curved forms.
4. To proceed misleadingly or insidiously in discourse or conduct.
5. To become wound: a clock that winds with difficulty.
1. The act of winding.
2. A single turn, twist, or curve.
Phrasal Verbs:
wind down
1. To diminish or cause to diminish gradually in energy, intensity, or scope: The party wound down as guests began to leave.
2. To relax; unwind.
wind up
1. To come or bring to a finish; end: when the meeting wound up; wind up a project.
2. To put in order; settle: wound up her affairs before leaving the country.
3. To arrive in a place or situation after or because of a course of action: took a long walk and wound up at the edge of town; overspent and wound up in debt.
4. Baseball To swing back the arm and raise the foot in preparation for pitching the ball.

[Middle English winden, from Old English windan.]

wind 3

 (wīnd, wĭnd)
tr.v. wind·ed (wīn′dĭd, wĭn′-) or wound (wound), wind·ing, winds Music
1. To blow (a wind instrument).
2. To sound by blowing.

[From wind.]

wind′er n.
References in classic literature ?
So saying he commenced to scull the canoe's nose before the wind, while I made fast the primitive sheets that held our crude sail.
You seem to be a sensible person, do then as I bid you; strip, leave your raft to drive before the wind, and swim to the Phaeacian coast where better luck awaits you.
This oath was no longer a vain menace; for the fastest sailer in the Mediterranean would have been unable to overtake the little tartan, that with every stitch of canvas set was flying before the wind to Leghorn.