Weather the Storm - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell someone to hang in there and ride out the bad times in their life? If so, you could ask them to "weather the storm." This post unpacks everything you need to know about the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression "weather the storm" means that something bad is coming, and you'll have to face it and move past it if you want to see a positive outcome. It's another way of telling someone to such-up their fear and handle a difficult situation.

If you're telling people at the office to weather the storm, you could be talking about a period of low sales where the company isn't doing well financially. However, you expect things to improve, but the team needs to hold on for now.

If you're using the term with your friends, you could be talking about how your football team needs to weather the storm of its slump in performance. Sooner or later, their fortunes will turn, and they will make a comeback.

Example Usage

"The Clark's business is going through rough times in this economy. I hope they have the resources they need to weather the storm and make it through this downturn."

"The president told the nation that they would have to tighten their belts and weather the storm of the current inflationary environment in the economy."

"After my dad lost his job, we had to weather the storm until he found a new one."

"The politician had to weather the storm of media inquiries after the corruption scandal broke into the mainstream."

"We're in a good position to weather the storm until Jim comes right with his new business."


The origin of the saying, "weather the storm," has maritime roots. British sailors in the 1600s were taking on some of the most violent weather ever experienced at sea as they sailed around the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. These trade routes involved them encountering storms frequently.

When a storm occurs, sailors can do nothing but drop the sails, secure the masts, batten down the hatches, and ride it out. As a result, "weather the storm" meant to sit things out until they cleared up.

The saying no longer applies to maritime use only. It's a common saying people say they are riding out bad times in their lives.

Phrases Similar to Weather the Storm

  • Through thick and then.
  • Whatever it takes.
  • Light at the end of the tunnel.

Phrases Opposite to Weather the Storm

  • Give up.
  • Leave it to the universe.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Weather the storm.

Ways People May Say Weather the Storm Incorrectly

The saying usually applies to scenarios in life and your career where you experience bad times and need to hold on through the misery. While the expression does have its roots in the maritime industry, most people don't use it to describe the weather or storms at sea anymore. Occasionally, people may use it to describe extreme weather events.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Weather the Storm

You can use the phrase "weather the storm" in social and professional settings. The term is a motivating statement telling yourself and others that the current bad times will pass and there is a "light at the end of the tunnel." You could use the saying to keep sales teams' spirits high during a slump at the office. At home, you could tell it to your family when you're dealing with the loss of a loved one. The phrase is versatile, and suits use in many scenarios in life.

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