1 of 2

adverb or adjective

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


2 of 2


: northward direction or part
sail to the northward

Examples of northward in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb or adjective
The storm, which brought small amounts of rain to some parts of metro Phoenix in the early afternoon, could also bring pea-sized hail as the system moved northward, according to the National Weather Service. The Arizona Republic, 15 Mar. 2024 The researchers could generalize this beyond their study sites in Alaska, showing that boreal trees growing elsewhere around the Arctic—birch, pine, larch, and other kinds of spruce—are moving northward where nearby sea ice is declining. Matt Simon, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 As the track heads northward, wintery conditions become more and more likely. Jay Anderson, Discover Magazine, 21 Feb. 2024 The 8th District has for decades occupied the northeastern corner of the state, stretching from Green Bay and Appleton northward toward the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Craig Gilbert, Journal Sentinel, 19 Feb. 2024 In a La Nina year, the reverse occurs: Stronger trade winds push warm water towards Asia forcing cold water to rise and nudging the jet stream northward. David Montesino, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 Forecast analysis Low pressure tracking northward from the Gulf Coast early Saturday is likely to pass to our west, then transfer its energy to another area of low pressure forming to our south later in the day. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2024 The incoming storm flung enough cloud cover northward at just the right height to deliver Friday’s stunning scenes. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2024 Fishermen who participate in Maine’s lifeblood lobster industry are on edge about what the future holds, as lobsters have inched steadily northward as waters have warmed, Cousens said. Patrick Whittle, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2024
This system will bring periods of moderate mountain snow, mainly from Highway 50 northward. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 4 Mar. 2024 Most of the new snow will fall from Highway 50 northward, which includes the Lake Tahoe region. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 3 Mar. 2024 The Sacramento Valley is expected to see strong winds, with gusts of 35 to 50 mph possible from Marysville in Yuba County northward, the weather service office in Sacramento said. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Better odds of something more substantial are generally northern Maryland and northward. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2023 One factor driving the disease’s northward creep may be climate change. Simon Makin, Scientific American, 19 Oct. 2023 Idalia could also bring a few tornadoes from the coast of west-central Florida northward into the Florida Big Bend region, the hurricane center said. Leigh Morgan, al, 30 Aug. 2023 Although Biden made firearms trafficking a priority to win Mexico’s support for slowing the northward flow of fentanyl and migration, the Mexican government did not wait on Americans to act. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 31 July 2023 The trail stretches from the city of Pewaukee at Watertown Road near Interstate 94 northward into the city of Brookfield at River and Brookfield roads. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'northward.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near northward

Cite this Entry

“Northward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: toward the north

More from Merriam-Webster on northward

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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