zephyr nouna : breeze from the west b : a gentle breeze 2 : any of variouslightweight fabrics and articles of clothing
“There was not even a zephyrstirring; the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds.” — Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer, 1876
“Strangely enough, by the end of a Maine winter, a 32-degree breezefeels like a palm-scented zephyr fromBali.” — Brett Willis, Portland (Maine) Press Herald, January 8, 2015
Did you know?
For centuries, poets have eulogizedZephyrus, the Greek god of the westwind, and his “swete breeth” (in the words of Geoffrey Chaucer). Zephyrus, the personified west wind, eventually evolved into zephyr, a word for a breeze that is westerly or gentle, or both. Breezy zephyr may have blown into English with the helpof William Shakespeare, who usedthe word in his 1611 play Cymbeline: “Thou divine Nature, thou thyselfthou blazon‘st / In these two princelyboys! They are as gentle / As zephyrs blowing below the violet.” Today, zephyr is also the sobriquet of a lightweight fabric and the clothingthat is made from it.