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[bliz-erd] /ˈblɪz ərd/
  1. a storm with dry, driving snow, strong winds, and intense cold.
  2. a heavy and prolonged snowstorm covering a wide area.
an inordinately large amount all at one time; avalanche:
a blizzard of Christmas cards.
verb (used without object)
to snow as a blizzard:
Looks as though it's going to blizzard tonight.
Origin of blizzard
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for blizzard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were six inches of soft, new snow, but the sun was rising clear, and there were no signs of a blizzard.

    Track's End Hayden Carruth
  • The blizzard had now subsided, and the stars shone overhead.

    Murder Point Coningsby Dawson
  • I observe it again to-day at this very writing, in the first blizzard of the season.

    Over Prairie Trails Frederick Philip Grove
  • You ain't been swallowed up in no blizzard, be you, comin' into town?

    Faro Nell and Her Friends Alfred Henry Lewis
  • But on reaching St. Louis the following Monday afternoon we were overtaken by a blizzard.

    The Mapleson Memoirs, vol II James H. Mapleson
British Dictionary definitions for blizzard


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

"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
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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