AskDefine | Define downwind

Dictionary Definition

downwind adj : towards the side away from the wind [syn: lee(a)] adv
1 in the direction the wind is blowing; "they flew downwind" [syn: with the wind] [ant: upwind]
2 away from the wind; "they were sailing windward" [syn: windward] [ant: leeward, leeward]

User Contributed Dictionary




  • (Canada) /ˌdaʊnˈwɪnd/


  1. in the same direction as the wind is blowing
    • 1888: Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills
      ... the aftermath of the dust-storm came up and caught us both, and drove us downwind like pieces of paper.
  2. (+ from) positioned relative to something in such a way that it can be smelled in the wind
    • I don't want to live downwind from a pig farm.


Extensive Definition

Downwind refers to a position leeward, a distance along the direction of wind from another position (see Windward and leeward). Leeward is mostly used as a nautical term and in respect to mountains and other orographic features.
In aviation, "downwind" refers to a portion of an aircraft's landing pattern, the long side parallel to the runway but flown in the opposite direction is called the downwind leg.
On land, "downwind" is often used to refer to a situation where a point source of air pollution or a scent moves from a point upwind; from the direction of the wind to the point of the observer.
"Downwind" has specific connotations in industrial cities in the English North, where less desirable or expensive housing was often situated to the leeward of steelworks, blast furnaces, mills or other sources of intense pollution. Hence in some cities it is used as a generic, slang, pejorative and discriminatory term for less wealthy areas or their inhabitants.

See also

downwind in Italian: Sottovento
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