Word of the Day Archive
Sunday June 27, 2010
1. A gentle, mild breeze.
2. Literary. The west wind.
3. Any of various things of fine, light quality.
And when my hand had had its fill of sport I used to seek The coolness of the shade and of the breeze, / The zephyr breathing from the chilly dales. / I sought the zephyr in the heat, / I waited for the zephyr, for its balm.
-- Ovid, A. D. Melville, E. J. Kenney, Metamorphoses
Exactly as when the sun rises and drives away the shades of night, a light zephyr flits with the sun's rays over the face of the reviving earth.
-- Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev, Smoke
Zephyr, in ancient Greek zephyros, was the godly personification of the west wind. English usage of the term to designate a pleasant breeze is from the 1600s.