Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A strong, hot, sand-laden wind of the Sahara and Arabian deserts: "Stephen's heart had withered up like a flower of the desert that feels the simoom coming from afar” ( James Joyce). Also called samiel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hot, dry, suffocating, dust-laden wind of the desert, particularity of Arabia, Syria, and neighboring countries, generated by the extreme heat of the parched deserts or sandy plains.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hot, dry, suffocating, dust-laden wind, that blows occasionally in Arabia, Syria, and neighboring countries, generated by the extreme heat of the parched deserts or sandy plains.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An intensely hot dry wind prevalent in the Arabian desert, and on the heated plains of Sind and Kandahar, sudden in its occurrence, moving in a straight, narrow track, and characterized by its suffocating effects.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a violent hot sand-laden wind on the deserts of Arabia and North Africa

Etymologies

Arabic samūm, from samma, to poison, from Aramaic sammā, drug, poison; see šmm in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Arabic سموم (samūm, "hot wind"), from سم (sámma, "to poison"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The approach of the simoom is a dense black cloud of whirling and seething fine dust.

    Wealth of the World's Waste Places and Oceania

  • African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me -- some of its virus mingled with my blood.

    Walden

  • If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and the nose and the ears and the eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me, – some of its virus mingled with my blood.

    Living Wage Protesters Arrested...Again at cvillenews.com

  • If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life, as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me, -- some of its virus mingled with my blood.

    Walden, or Life in the woods

  • If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life, as from that dry and parching wind of the African deserts called the simoom, which fills the mouth and nose and ears and eyes with dust till you are suffocated, for fear that I should get some of his good done to me — some of its virus mingled with my blood.

    Walden~ Chapter 01 (historical)

  • Presently a kind of simoom was observed to rage in the Scholars 'Bunker, out of which emerged the head of the niblick, the ball, and, finally, BULGER himself.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, November 19, 1892

  • He specifies the role of “the steppe winds from the east, opposed [to] the Western in the spirit of a fatalistic resignation to destiny,” and the title of his opening story — “Skushno,” a Russian word for extreme anomie — could well be the name of an enervating wind like the simoom.

    The 2,000-Year-Old Panic

  • The simoom brought nothing with it that resembled a cooling breeze, only dust and sand filtering through the shutters and under the doors, and yet more heat, and some days everything we ate, everything we drank, was full of it.

    The Mistress of Nothing

  • But then the sandstorms began, when full days and parts of weeks were lost as the simoom whipped up the desert and deposited great swaths of it on the village.

    The Mistress of Nothing

  • Behind him was darkness; behind him raged drought and the simoom.

    Peer Gynt

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