(on the west coast of Africa) a dry, parching land breeze, charged with dust.

1665–75; said to be < Twi haramata

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World English Dictionary
harmattan (hɑːˈmætən)
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]

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Encyclopedia Britannica


hot, dry wind that blows from the northeast or east in the western Sahara and is strongest in late fall and winter (late November to mid-March). It usually carries large amounts of dust, which it transports hundreds of kilometres out over the Atlantic Ocean; the dust often interferes with aircraft operations and settles on the decks of ships.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
And it was not too hot either, because the cold and dry harmattan wind was blowing down from the north.
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