Weather Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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We’ve all talked about the weather. It’s probably among the most common conversation topics of all time. Odds are, if you speak the English language, you have used the word weather. 

But there’s a bit more to this word than meets the eye, mostly in what it often gets confused with and how it gets misspelled. If you find yourself being confused with this word, let’s take it back to the basics and build from there.

Today’s word of the day is weather. By the end of this short guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of the word weather, its definitions, its etymology, and how to use it. Let’s get started. 

What Is the Meaning of the Word Weather?

The word weather has a pretty simple meaning. But it’s actually one of those words that are so foundational that it is somewhat difficult to define. But here’s a definition of the word weather: 

  • A combination of atmospheric conditions, such as movement, humidity, water condensation, etc. that create various events in the atmosphere, such as precipitation, cloudiness, humidity, temperature fluctuations, and more. Typically referring to the atmospheric conditions of a specific regional area. 

In short, the weather is the state of the atmosphere at a particular time in a given region or area. The weather could be a thunderstorm or a bright and sunny day. It could be cold weather, bad weather, heat waves, or high winds. 

The word weather has been foundational throughout language for millennia. There has never been a time when human beings didn’t need to know what the weather was doing, so this word has always been around in some form or another. 

The study of weather is called meteorology, in which scientists study conditions of the atmosphere weather patterns in order to predict the weather conditions of a place over a period of time. This prediction is called the weather forecast. 

Common Collocations

With such an important word, there are bound to be several collocations and idioms associated with it. A collocation is a common pairing of two words that occurs more than just by coincidence, so essentially, it’s a short, two-word common saying. Here is a list of some collocations for the word weather: 

  • Good weather
  • Bad weather
  • Heavy weather
  • Fair weather
  • Weather service
  • Hot weather
  • Cold weather
  • Warm Weather
  • Weather events

Common Misunderstandings

Many people often get confused about the spelling of the word weather. It is pronounced the exact same as another English word: whether. The word whether is a conjunction that is used to convey a choice, a doubt, or multiple outcomes in a situation. 

These words are homophones, meaning that they sound the exact same or close to the exact same but carry two different meanings. Be on the lookout for misspellings of the word weather, so you don’t get confused or confuse others. 

Where Did the Word Weather Come From?

To help bring more clarity to the definition of weather, let’s look at the history of how it came to be or its etymology.

The word weather actually comes from the ancient Germanic family of languages, so it has been around for far too long to even know the exact origin. That ancient Germanic language evolved into several different languages, including Old English, Dutch, and German, over the millennia. 

We see a similar root and spelling for the same word in all three of these languages. There was the Old English weder, the Dutch weer, and the German wetter.  

During the transition of Old English to what we have now (a period called Middle English), the spelling changed slightly to the word we have now: weather. 

Now, there are several phrases and idioms in the English language that use the word out of context, such as the phrases “under the weather,” “to weather (meaning to bear or deal with successfully),” and “weathered (meaning to become worn over time).” 

What Are Some Examples of the Word Weather in a Sentence?

Seeing a word in context can help bring more clarity to its definition and how you can use it in your own life. Here are some example sentences that use weather:

  • With Hurricane Ida drawing close to the coast, we’re already starting to see the strong winds and extreme weather affect the communities here. 
  • I didn’t check the weather report for today, otherwise I would have brought my rain jacket. 
  • The weather report said the snowfall would start at around 10:00 AM, and the heavy winds would pick up at about 1:00 in the afternoon. 
  • If the weather looks good, we should go out for a picnic in the park this weekend. 
  • Once the weather starts to change each season, my allergies really act up, making me sick with hay fever for a week or more.
  • I don’t know if I will be able to go out tonight. I’m feeling a bit under the weather. 
  • I don’t know how we did it, but our family weathered the recession, and we made it out okay. 
  • His beautiful sunburst guitar was perfectly weathered from years and years of touring around the world. 

What Are the Synonyms of the Word Weather?

Here are some synonyms of the word weather that you might find in a thesaurus:

  • Climate
  • Elements 
  • Get through
  • Overcome
  • Ride out
  • Withstand
  • Worn
  • Hardened
  • Aged
  • Battered

What Are Antonyms of the Word Weather?

Here are some antonyms for the word weather:

  • Give in 
  • Yield
  • Surrender
  • Pristine
  • New

The Word Weather

Now you know everything you need to know about the word weather, its definition, its history, and how to use it. Use it confidently in your writing and your conversation. And if you need a refresher on this word, come back to this article for the information you need.


WEATHER | Cambridge English Dictionary 

WEATHER | Meaning & Definition for UK English | Lexico

What Does Under the Weather Mean? | Writing Explained