north·​er·​ly | \ ˈnȯr-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce northerly (audio) \

Definition of northerly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : situated toward or belonging to the north the northerly border
2 : coming from the north a northerly wind


plural northerlies

Definition of northerly (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wind from the north

Examples of northerly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb

Passing clouds and northerly winds will keep afternoon highs below normal, but highs in the mid 80s are expected this afternoon. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Pop up showers for some; Dry for most," 7 June 2019 The exception to this dismal picture is Rory Stewart, the secretary of state for international development and the MP for one of England’s most northerly constituencies, Penrith and the Border. The Economist, "Rory Stewart, odd man out," 7 June 2019 At the docks at Ingleside, a cold front has changed the wind direction from its usual northerly direction, making this already unfamiliar procedure even trickier. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 Confidence: Medium-High Sunday night: Any patches of clouds, along with northerly breezes, should diminish as the evening wears on. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Dangerous winds roar today and tonight; showers end with snowflakes," 2 Mar. 2018 Global warming could be leading to more northerly migrations of shark species, says Skomal. Cassie Shortsleeve, Condé Nast Traveler, "Should I Worry About Sharks in the Northeast?," 21 Sep. 2018 Skinny Dipping Soaking up the northerly pleasures of Lithuania’s Curonian Spit A rainy summer day in Nida. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "An Unmissable Summer Holiday in the Baltics," 22 Aug. 2018 The leaders are Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, all of whom faced a northerly crosswind on Saturday here at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club that made the world’s best look at least somewhat silly. Matthew Gutierrez, WSJ, "U.S. Open Finale Will Be a Battle Against the Conditions," 17 June 2018 Forecast models show the storm is expected to drift in a northerly direction through Mexico and into Arizona. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "If it's June, it must be hurricane season ... in Arizona?," 12 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'northerly.' 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 northerly

Adjective or adverb

circa 1544, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for northerly

Adjective or adverb

north entry 3 + -erly (as in easterly)

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Statistics for northerly

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for northerly

The first known use of northerly was circa 1544

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More Definitions for northerly



English Language Learners Definition of northerly

: located in or moving toward the north
: blowing from the north
north·​er·​ly | \ ˈnȯr-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce northerly (audio) \

Kids Definition of northerly

1 : from the north a northerly wind
2 : toward the north a northerly city We sailed northerly.

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More from Merriam-Webster on northerly

Spanish Central: Translation of northerly

Nglish: Translation of northerly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of northerly for Arabic Speakers

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behavior toward others

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