north·​ward | \ ˈnȯrth-wərd How to pronounce northward (audio) \

Definition of northward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: toward the north



Definition of northward (Entry 2 of 2)

: northward direction or part sail to the northward

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from northward

Adverb or adjective

northwards \ ˈnȯrth-​wərdz How to pronounce northwards (audio) \ adverb

Examples of northward in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective

To stay profitable, Mr. Ruhle has shifted northward too, and that means higher fuel costs. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 Researchers found that even if the world were to observe goals set by the Paris climate accords, fish would shift northward. Martin Finucane,, "Hundreds of fish species will be forced to shift north due to climate change, study says," 16 May 2018 Storm track has shifted northward this week, allowing for drier weather and much warmer temperatures! Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Clear skies expected this week after reservoir-replenishing rains in March | The Sacramento Bee," 27 Mar. 2018 Most of those seeking asylum have come from violence- and poverty-plagued Central American nations such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and cross through Mexico on their journey northward. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "U.S. to Start Returning Some Asylum Seekers to Mexico," 24 Jan. 2019 The storm, moving northward at 12 mph, was about 255 miles south of Panama City, Florida, according to a 8 p.m. ET advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Fox News, "Hurricane Michael, Category 3, getting 'better organized' as it approaches Florida's Gulf Coast, officials say," 9 Oct. 2018 The scramble to lock down critical sites like Berbera is unscrolling all along the Horn and northward into the Red Sea. Matina Stevis-gridneff, WSJ, "Middle East Power Struggle Plays Out on New Stage," 1 June 2018 Meteorologists say temperatures are being driven higher by a hot air mass moving northward from Africa, which is also bringing dust from the Sahara Desert. Fox News, "The Latest: More risk of wildfires in scorched Sweden," 3 Aug. 2018 Heavy rains will begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region into the southeastern United States on Sunday and continue into the middle of next week as Alberto moves northward after landfall. Hanna Krueger,, "Subtropical Storm Alberto speeds up as it enters Gulf: Latest update," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Where is Jebi at the moment?Moving northwards in the Sea of Japan, toward Russia, at about 46 mph. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Typhoon Jebi Batters Japan, Forces Airport Closure," 5 Sep. 2018 The Butterfly Conservation team has observed the white-letter hairstreak gradually spreading northwards, possibly due to warming climates. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Butterfly Recently Returned to Scotland. Now, It’s Laying Eggs," 19 Feb. 2018 Some populist Mexican politicians talk of opening the country’s southern border to migrants from Central America, giving them train tickets northwards to Texas. The Economist, "New fences make bad neighboursDonald Trump could set off a nationalist backlash in Mexico," 26 Oct. 2017 Now a post-tropical cyclone, Ophelia is moving northwards at 44 mph (70 km/h), according to the Hurricane Center. Kevin Lui, Time, "What to Know About Ophelia, the Atlantic's Easternmost Hurricane Ever," 16 Oct. 2017 Caused by Saharan dust being drawn northwards by Anthony R. Wood,, "Ophelia storms the Emerald Isle, turns sun red in Britain," 16 Oct. 2017 Hurricane Irma is passing though Central Florida now, currently centered northwest of the Lakeland area as its destructive northward march continues. Marco Santana,, "Here's low long Hurricane Irma will hit the Orlando area," 11 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of northward

Adverb or adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about northward

Share northward

Statistics for northward

Last Updated

26 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for northward

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for northward



English Language Learners Definition of northward

: toward the north
north·​ward | \ ˈnȯrth-wərd How to pronounce northward (audio) \

Kids Definition of northward

: toward the north The storm is moving northward.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on northward

Spanish Central: Translation of northward

Nglish: Translation of northward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of northward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on northward

What made you want to look up northward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!