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1. A violent gust of cold wind blowing seaward from a mountainous coast, especially in the Straits of Magellan.
2. A sudden gust of wind; a squall.

[Origin unknown.]
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.


1. (Physical Geography) a sudden strong gust of cold wind blowing offshore from a mountainous coast, as in the Strait of Magellan
2. a state of great turmoil
[C19: of unknown origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈwɪl iˌwɔ)

a violent squall that blows in near-polar latitudes, as in the Strait of Magellan, Alaska, and the Aleutian Islands.
[1835–45; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
NOV 17 Animal Masquerade Join Williwaw for its fourth annual Animal Masquerade with award winning British duo SNAKEHIPS, creators of global smash hits, Don't Leave.
Forty years ago it looked as though offshore foiling was about to make a breakthrough, David Keiper pioneered the technique in the 1970s with his trimaran Williwaw in which he clocked up a staggering 20.000 miles cruising the South Pacific.
Prior to The City and the Pillar, Vidal had published two well-received war novels; his first, Williwaw (1946), Donald Pease notes, was "along with Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead, of 1948 ...
The recently constructed Canopy Tour, Williwaw Racing Zip and indoor climbing wall will also be open this winter.
He was up in the Aleutian campaign, he wrote Williwaw, and technically speaking, it was the first major World War II novel, after the war.
RASKIN: Your first novel, Williwaw, was published in 1946 when you were 21-years-old.
Vidal started writing as a 19-year-old soldier stationed in Alaska, basing his first novel Williwaw on his World War Two experiences.
The festival, which kicks off tonight, prides itself on the weird and wonderful, with the line-up this year ranging from a 1930s-inspired artist called Lady K to the sonic maelstrom of American performer Williwaw who uses amplifiers and all his limbs to produce a truly unique sound.
American author, whose works include Williwaw and Messiah.
Albert Dock: Lord Rank; John Laing; Jolie Brise; Dasher; Spaniel; Morning Star of Revelation; Stina Mari; Lietuva; Moosk; Assarain II; Westward Ho; Urania; Antwerp Flyer; Gaudeamus; Black Diamond of Durham; Esprit; Alba Explorer; Clyde Challenger; Gedania: Hebe III; Fraggle; Zryw; St Barbara V; Rzeszowiak; Akela; Gwarek; Nitron; Williwaw; Greater Manchester Challenge; Glaciere of Liverpool; Rupel; Rona II; Royalist; Jens Krogh; Ocean Spirit of Mersey.
Dillon write in The Williwaw War (1992), "they fought blinding, waist-deep snow; sleet that struck as from a sandblaster; fogs so thick and persistent that fliers claimed it was clear enough for takeoff if they could see their copilots; the williwaw, that incredible wind that seemed to blow from every direction at once, and that blew away anything not fastened down."
His first novel, Williwaw, set on an army transport ship off the coast of Alaska during World War II, received much critical praise when Vidal was only nineteen.