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blizzard

[bliz-erd] /ˈblɪz ərd/
noun
1.
Meteorology.
  1. a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold.
  2. a heavy and prolonged snowstorm covering a wide area.
2.
an inordinately large amount all at one time; avalanche:
a blizzard of Christmas cards.
verb (used without object)
3.
to snow as a blizzard:
Looks as though it's going to blizzard tonight.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30, Americanism; earlier: violent blow, shot; compare British dial. (Midlands) blizzer, blizzom blaze, flash, anything that blinds momentarily; probably expressive formations with components of blast, blaze1, bluster, etc.
Related forms
blizzardy, blizzardly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for blizzard
  • The powerful storm is unleashing damaging winds, blizzard conditions, huge waves and coastal flooding.
  • Well, we've had our first snow that has stuck and are expecting blizzard conditions tomorrow night.
  • The snowfall bore about the same relation to a blizzard as a gentle breeze does to a gale.
  • Of late there has been considerable newspaper discussion about the origin of the term blizzard.
  • Freshmen in college wade through a blizzard of calculus, physics and chemistry in lecture halls with hundreds of other students.
  • The matter has been contested in a blizzard of law suits ever since.
  • Within the fortnight, a screaming three-day blizzard would sweep the canyon country.
  • He then shepherded his musical personality through a blizzard of artfully manipulated public personas.
  • The notion of intelligent machines inspired a blizzard of books and movies, but practical returns were meager.
  • The pilot would have no lights to guide him along the route and no radio to warn him of an approaching blizzard.
British Dictionary definitions for blizzard

blizzard

/ˈblɪzəd/
noun
1.
a strong bitterly cold wind accompanied by a widespread heavy snowfall
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for blizzard
n.

"strong, sustained snowstorm," 1859, origin obscure (perhaps somehow connected with blaze (n.1)); it came into general use in the U.S. in this sense the hard winter 1880-81. OED says it probably is "more or less onomatopœic," and adds "there is nothing to indicate a French origin." Before that it typically meant "violent blow," also "hail of gunfire" in American English from 1829, and blizz "violent rainstorm" is attested from 1770. The winter storm sense perhaps is originally a colloquial figurative use in the Upper Midwest of the U.S.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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blizzard in Science
blizzard
  (blĭz'ərd)   
A violent snowstorm with winds blowing at a minimum speed of 56 km (35 mi) per hour and visibility of less 400 m (0.25 mi) for three hours.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for blizzard

severe weather condition that is distinguished by low temperatures, strong winds, and large quantities of either falling or blowing snow. The U.S. Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm with winds of more than 56 km (35 miles) per hour and enough snow to limit visibility to 150 m (500 feet) or less. A severe blizzard has winds of over 72 km (45 miles) per hour, visibility near zero, and temperatures of -12 C (10 F) or lower. A ground blizzard occurs when there is no falling snow, but snow is drifting and blowing near the ground

Learn more about blizzard with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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