Part of speech: noun
Origin: Scots, 17th century
Spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind.
Driving snow or sand.
Examples of Spindrift in a sentence
"The wind was so strong that our canoe was splashed with spindrift from the huge waves."
"The blizzard blasted spindrift into my eyes from all angles."
Popularity Over Time
“Spindrift” is from the Scots language, likely a variation on the word “spoondrift.” “Spoondrift” is the combination of the obsolete nautical verb “spoon” (meaning “to sail ahead of the wind”) and the rare noun “drift” (meaning “driving”).
Did you Know?
“Spindrift” is a maritime phenomenon in which high winds blow the crests off the tops of waves, associated with conditions of 8 (“gale-force”) and above on the 12-level Beaufort Wind Scale. Accordingly, spindrift is a product of extreme weather and does not appear in gentler climes. As a weather condition, spindrift is characterized not just by low visibility, but by an inability to see caused by heavy spray. As a result, the original maritime definition has been expanded to include not only water, but also fine blowing snow or sand. The fine particles airborne in snowstorms and sandstorms are as challenging to visibility as spindrift from a gale on the water.