A blizzard is a large winter storm, characterized by heavy snowfall and accompanied by high winds. We're not talking flurry or a snowsquall. It's the kind of snow storm you read about.

If you had to shovel 5 inches of snow off of your sidewalk, the snow storm was probably just a snow storm, an annoyance perhaps but not a blizzard. A blizzard is a huge snowstorm that results in the disruption of normal activities. Offices close, schools are shut down, streets are snow-packed, and people stay at home. The word can also be used figuratively, to mean "a rash" of something — like the blizzard of insurance forms you had to complete after surgery.

Definitions of blizzard
  1. noun
    a storm with widespread snowfall accompanied by strong winds
    synonyms: snowstorm
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    type of:
    storm, violent storm
    a violent weather condition with winds 64-72 knots (11 on the Beaufort scale) and precipitation and thunder and lightning
  2. noun
    a series of unexpected and unpleasant occurrences
    “a blizzard of lawsuits”
    synonyms: rash
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    type of:
    similar things placed in order or happening one after another
Commonly confused words

Stormy Weather: A Tempest of Meteorological Terms

Given how much our day-to-day lives are influenced by weather, it's not surprising we have a rich vocabulary for storms.

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Word Family