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 (här′mə-tăn′, här-măt′n)
A dry dusty wind that blows along the northwest coast of Africa.

[Akan (Twi) haramata, possibly from Arabic ḥarām, evil thing, from ḥarama, to prohibit; see x̣rm in Semitic roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Physical Geography) a dry dusty wind from the Sahara blowing towards the W African coast, esp from November to March
[C17: from Twi haramata, perhaps from Arabic harām forbidden thing; see harem]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌhɑr məˈtæn)

(in W Africa) a dry, parching wind, charged with dust from the Sahara, esp. frequent in the winter.
[1665–75; said to be < Twi haramata]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.harmattan - a dusty wind from the Sahara that blows toward the western coast of Africa during the winter
air current, current of air, wind - air moving (sometimes with considerable force) from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure; "trees bent under the fierce winds"; "when there is no wind, row"; "the radioactivity was being swept upwards by the air current and out into the atmosphere"
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References in classic literature ?
The warning light for Harmattan winds will be continuous vertical glare (white) on all oases of trans-Saharan N.
freighter Ulema taken ground during Harmattan on Akakus Range.
From the direction of the wind whenever it has fallen, and from its having always fallen during those months when the harmattan is known to raise clouds of dust high into the atmosphere, we may feel sure that it all comes from Africa.
Ekwensi says: 'It is time too for the harmattan to blow dust into eyes and teeth, to wrinkle skin: the harmattan that leaves in its wake from Libya to Lagos a shroud of fog...like muslin on a sheikh.' I like the 'fog' and 'shroud' imageries.
The drilling plan consists of three development wells drilled from existing pads, and one exploratory outpost well to appraise the land acquired south of Harmattan in 2018.
It also equipped and tied-in six oil wells at Harmattan in Canada.
At a meeting with members of the Ghana Bar Association, who had called on the Presidency to demand the speedy resolution of the vigilante menace and to urge him on to fix the problem with the local currency, the cedi, which had been fallen faster than ripe mangoes in the dry Harmattan season, the Head of State said he was not deterred by people insulting his person in national discourse.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: In 1998, Bruce Onobrakpeya (pronounced OH-no-brock-PAY-uh) and his foundation founded an artist cooperative called the Harmattan Workshop in his hometown of Agbarah-Ottor, Delta State, Nigeria.
Out of the thin Harmattan air, dozens of militia began parading outside the salon, dressed in full uniform, singing patriotic songs and marching loudly through the otherwise quiet residential neighbourhood.
In December/January a dry, dusty wind blows south from the Sahara desert, signalling the start of what is known as harmattan season, when visibility is poor due to dust particles in the air.
These factors are low relative humidity (typically below 20% during the late dry season) and exposure to atmospheric dust through the Harmattan winds for hyperendemic seasonality of meningitis incidences (Savory et al.
The gathering, dubbed "Philosophical Questioning in Kuwait," drew significant interest from local and international intellectuals at the "Harmattan Arts and Culture Centre" where a lively "conference-debate" was also attended by Kuwaiti officials from UNESCO and the State of Kuwait Embassy in Paris.