north·​ern | \ ˈnȯr-t͟hərn How to pronounce northern (audio) , ˈnȯr-t͟hən \

Definition of northern

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized
a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a region conventionally designated North
b : of, relating to, or constituting the northern dialect
2a : lying toward the north
b : coming from the north a northern storm



Definition of northern (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : the dialect of English spoken in the part of the U.S. north of a line running northwest through central New Jersey, below the northern tier of counties in Pennsylvania, through northern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, across central Iowa, and through the northwest corner of South Dakota

Examples of northern in a Sentence

Adjective the northern part of the state
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Rauw’s family lived in a small, two-bedroom house in Palma Sola, part of the northern region of Canóvanas in Puerto Rico. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 20 Jan. 2022 Indonesia owns the majority of Borneo, the world's third-largest island, with Malaysia and Brunei each holding parts of its northern region. Masrur Jamaluddin And Hannah Ryan, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 Southern Illinois into northeastern Missouri could get anywhere between 2-6 inches of snow, with even more accumulation possible in the northern Missouri Valley and the Northern Plains areas, Nield said. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Jan. 2022 The northern Willamette Valley may get slightly less rain but is still under a flood watch warning. oregonlive, 4 Jan. 2022 In Tocantins state, which is adjacent to Bahia in Brazil's northern region, 22 municipalities were affected by the rains by early Tuesday afternoon. DÉbora Álvares, ajc, 28 Dec. 2021 Swedes have long sought solitude in the untamed northern region known as Höga Kusten, or the High Coast, for its dramatic cliffs and pristine archipelago. New York Times, 27 Dec. 2021 Ethiopia has been involved in a deadly conflict with the Tigray People's Liberation Front forces from the northern Tigray region since November 2020. Fox News, 24 Dec. 2021 The northern region of Tigray has been under an effective communications blackout and humanitarian blockade, with only trickles of aid making it through federal government checkpoints. Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An airstrike in the town of Mai Tsebri in Ethiopia’s northern of Tigray region Monday killed at least 17 people, mostly women, and wounded dozens, two aid workers said, citing local authorities and eyewitnesses. Washington Post, 11 Jan. 2022 The office handles federal prosecutions-- ranging from large-scale drug trafficking to violent crimes and political corruption -- of federal crimes in 40 of Ohio’s northern-most counties. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 12 Nov. 2021 The region’s northern-most House district, Maine’s 2nd, has been interesting to political observers for some time., 19 Oct. 2021 The hole in the ice, also known as a polynya, is located north of Ellesmere Island, Canada's northern-most island and just west of Greenland. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 15 May 2020 For northern pike, the DNR hopes to foster large sizes by disallowing anyone from keeping a northern that exceeds 30 inches. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, 25 Mar. 2021 The northern-most sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates hopes a new adventure camp showcasing its wide-open spaces, fresh air and socially distanced mountain peaks can aid in reviving its tourist industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jon Gambrell,, 9 Oct. 2020 Between May and August, Freeze might catch fewer than 10 northerns at his arboreal outpost just off Interstate 95. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, 12 July 2018 This is not a new polarization in the western states or in other northern settled regions. Steve Haycox, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Mar. 2018

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


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


1950, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for northern


Middle English northerne, from Old English; akin to Old High German nordrōni northern, Old English north north

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Time Traveler for northern

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near northern



northern anchovy

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Northern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for northern



English Language Learners Definition of northern

: located in or toward the north
: of or relating to the north


north·​ern | \ ˈnȯr-t͟hərn How to pronounce northern (audio) \

Kids Definition of northern

1 often capitalized : of, relating to, or like that of the North northern weather
2 : lying toward or coming from the north northern Europe

More from Merriam-Webster on northern

Nglish: Translation of northern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of northern for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about northern


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