\ ˈnȯrth How to pronounce north (audio) \

Definition of north

 (Entry 1 of 6)

: to, toward, or in the north



Definition of north (Entry 2 of 6)

1 : situated toward or at the north the north entrance
2 : coming from the north a north wind



Definition of north (Entry 3 of 6)

1a : the direction of the north terrestrial pole : the direction to the left of one facing east
b : the compass point directly opposite to south
2 capitalized
a : regions or countries lying to the north of a specified or implied point of orientation
b : the industrially and economically developed nations of the world — compare south sense 5
3 often capitalized
a : the one of four positions at 90-degree intervals that lies to the north or at the top of a diagram
b : a person occupying this position in the course of a specified activity (such as the game of bridge)


biographical name (1)
\ ˈnȯrth How to pronounce North (audio) \

Definition of North (Entry 4 of 6)

Douglass Cecil 1920–2015 American economist


biographical name (2)

Definition of North (Entry 5 of 6)

Frederick 1732–1792 Lord North English statesman; prime minister (1770–82)


biographical name (3)

Definition of North (Entry 6 of 6)

Sir Thomas 1535–?1603 English translator

Examples of north in a Sentence

Adverb Turn north onto Elm Street. It's a few miles north of here. The bird is found as far north as Canada. Noun The wind is coming from the north. The birds migrate from the North. Parts of the North were hit hard by the storm. I grew up in the North. The American Civil War was between the North and the South.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The San Pedro River, which snakes north from the Mexican border, nourishes an oasis that provides habitat for more than 350 species of birds, many of which pass through to feed during migration. Ian James, azcentral, "Groups sue over groundwater pumping linked to Arizona Army base, warning river is at risk," 14 Mar. 2020 Intermittent nighttime closure of the Glisan Street on-ramp and the Couch Street on-ramp to I-405 north from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Friday, Feb. 14. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday traffic: Fog, slick spots, for morning commute," 13 Feb. 2020 Models generally suggest that a weak AMOC could cause a substantial cooling effect in Western Europe, as less and less heat is transported north from the equator. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Ocean Currents Are Speeding Up, Driven by Faster Winds," 6 Feb. 2020 Six people riding on a Greyhound bus traveling north from Los Angeles to San Francisco were shot early Monday morning and rushed to the hospital, officials said. Fox News, "California Greyhound bus shooting leaves 6 injured, suspect in custody," 4 Feb. 2020 According to preliminary flight data posted by, everything appeared normal as the helicopter flew north from Irvine. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "What we know about Kobe Bryant's final flight," 28 Jan. 2020 East 105th Street runs north from the University Circle area into Bratenahl, connecting with Lakeshore Boulevard just west of the Interstate 90 interchange with Eddy Road. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Road construction project on East Side artery to begin Tuesday, will disrupt traffic for a year," 8 Jan. 2020 Public works and fire crews from Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Warren tracked the source back to the relief drain, which travels south-north under Schoenherr from 9 Mile Road to just north of 14 Mile Road, according to the release. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Crews containing petroleum leak in Warren drain; sheen found moving down Clinton River," 4 Jan. 2020 Take Josephine north from East First Avenue 3 blocks, just past Hillstone. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, "Plush townhouse in Cherry Creek North has an office below on Josephine, $1.495M," 15 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The military said the two were killed during a mission to eliminate a stronghold for the Islamic State group in a mountainous area of north-central Iraq. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Two Americans, British national killed in rocket attack on Iraq military base: reports," 12 Mar. 2020 Tensions escalated amid a push by Bridgeport city council members representing the city’s north end to further restrict the number of unrelated people living in a house. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Turnout picking up across Connecticut as voters head to polls in municipal elections," 6 Nov. 2019 Children who drew odd numbers competed at PAL Gym’s north end, children who drew even numbers were at the south end. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Super Swish trophy winners beat the clock en route to foul-shooting honors," 5 Feb. 2020 Storm total snowfall of 4 to 8 inches is expected by Monday evening from North Dakota into north-central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, the National Weather Service said. CBS News, "Severe storm hits Northern California, causing flooding and rock slides," 8 Dec. 2019 National Weather Service On Monday, the NWS predicted as much as a foot of snow in the interior of the Northeast of the U.S., and warned that wet snow would mix with freezing rain in update New York to north-central New England. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Arctic Blast to Hit 240 Million People Across the U.S. With Freezing Temperatures and Weather Warnings," 12 Nov. 2019 Red flag warnings are up for the San Francisco Bay area and much of north-central California. Marisa Iati, Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Firefighters brace for windstorm that may complicate fight against Northern California wildfire," 29 Oct. 2019 Travelers are now picked up and dropped off in a parking lot off the far north end of baggage claim. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "Readers respond: Cleveland Hopkins’ most-needed improvements include wider concourses, more parking," 10 Oct. 2019 Rain chances will increase inland through the weekend, with up to 4 inches possible in parts of central and north Alabama. Leigh Morgan,, "What can Alabama expect from Tropical Storm Barry?," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mexico’s economy was lagging last year, and even contracted slightly in 2019, making Mexico even more vulnerable to the wishes of the north. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, "Most Mexicans seeking asylum have seemingly vanished along the border," 14 Mar. 2020 The Trash Pandas have been the buzz of north Alabama for two years since plans to bring professional baseball back to the area came into focus. Paul Gattis |, al, "Trash Pandas debut delayed by coronavirus concerns," 12 Mar. 2020 The scene at Chabad-Lubavitch of Arizona's north Phoenix campus was a colorful one on Monday night. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Phoenix-area Jews don costumes to celebrate Purim, the Jewish holiday 'that's most fun'," 10 Mar. 2020 On the first business day since the government locked down a broad swath of the north, confusion reigned over who could go where and under what circumstances Monday. Anchorage Daily News, "Italian premier locks down entire country to stop virus," 10 Mar. 2020 Authorities took extraordinary measures this weekend by locking down much of the north of the country in an attempt to stop the virus spreading, restricting travel for more than 15 million people. Matias Grez, CNN, "Cristiano Ronaldo applauds imaginary fans as Serie A continues in empty stadiums due to coronavirus outbreak," 9 Mar. 2020 The plan to lock down large swaths of the north was the first major attempt by a democracy during the coronavirus crisis to radically halt the routines of daily life — an effort that will have significant impacts on civil liberties. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, "Confusion spreads as Italy tries to lock down 16 million people," 8 Mar. 2020 Italian authorities had already imposed restrictions in swaths of the country’s north, closing schools, universities, museums and churches while banning public gatherings such as at soccer matches and fashion shows. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "Italy Shuts All Schools to Stem Spread of Coronavirus," 4 Mar. 2020 Hingham Town Meeting voted in the spring of 2019 to buy the water company — which services all of Hingham and Hull and part of north Cohasset — from Aquarion Water at a cost of approximately $108 million. Johanna Seltz,, "Hingham picks firm to run local water company," 18 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'north.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of north


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for north


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German nord north and perhaps to Greek nerteros lower, infernal

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Time Traveler for north

Time Traveler

The first known use of north was before the 12th century

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Statistics for north

Last Updated

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“North.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for north


How to pronounce North (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of north

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the north



English Language Learners Definition of north (Entry 2 of 3)

: located in or toward the north
: coming from the north



English Language Learners Definition of north (Entry 3 of 3)

: the direction that is to your left when you are facing the rising sun : the direction that is the opposite of south
: regions or countries north of a certain point especially : the northern part of the U.S.


\ ˈnȯrth How to pronounce north (audio) \

Kids Definition of north

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the north It's north of here.



Kids Definition of north (Entry 2 of 3)

: placed toward, facing, or coming from the north the north entrance a north wind



Kids Definition of north (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the direction to the left of someone facing east : the compass point opposite to south
2 capitalized : regions or countries north of a point that is mentioned or understood

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More from Merriam-Webster on north

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with north

Spanish Central: Translation of north

Nglish: Translation of north for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of north for Arabic Speakers

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