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Jun 14, 2010
This week's theme
Words related to weather

This week's words
aeolian
virga
El Nino
pluvial
nimbus

A sculpture of Aeolus in Aeolian Islands
A sculpture of Aeolus in Aeolian Islands, Italy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

The part of the world I live in, the Seattle area, is notorious for its rainy weather. The reputation is undeserved -- places such as Miami and New York City receive much more total rain in a year. There's a kernel of truth in that, however. The winter sky here is often gray and often drizzly.

The way I see it, weather is a state of mind. How gray one feels inside has little to do with clouds or what the thermometer reads. One could find cheerful people in an icy place like Alaska or gloomy people on a sunny beach in Hawaii.

This week we'll look at five words related to weather and climate, words about wind, rain, clouds, and more.

aeolian or eolian

PRONUNCIATION:
(ee-O-lee-uhn)

MEANING:
adjective: Relating to or caused by the wind.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Aeolus, god of the winds in Greek mythology. As keeper of the winds, he gave a bag containing winds to help with Odysseus's sailing.

USAGE:
"It would not be surprising if a few features -- even very large ones -- were sculpted by aeolian processes into the pyramidal forms we see."
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan; The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark; Random House; 1995.

See more usage examples of aeolian in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. -Eleanor Roosevelt, diplomat and author (1884-1962)

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