adjective or adverb
south·​er·​ly | \ ˈsə-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce southerly (audio) \

Definition of southerly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : situated toward or belonging to the south the southerly shore of the lake
2 : coming from the south a southerly wind


plural southerlies

Definition of southerly (Entry 2 of 2)

: a wind from the south

Examples of southerly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb After passing through the narrow Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the carrier group was continuing in a southerly direction, the ministry added. Washington Post, "World Digest: Dec. 20, 2020," 20 Dec. 2020 But the low-level surge of mild, humid air on southerly winds will import enough instability to pose a bit of a concern. Washington Post, "Christmas Eve storm threatens D.C. with gusty downpours before plunging temperatures," 23 Dec. 2020 The big question facing forecasters in Boston is how far north the low pressure area tracks, with some models simulating a more southerly scenario where the heaviest precipitation stays south of the region. Washington Post, "Messy winter storm likely for Mid-Atlantic Wednesday with heavy snow in western areas," 12 Dec. 2020 Strong southerly winds will transport above average temperatures into the Upper Midwest on Wednesday. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Breezy Wednesday Ahead. October-Like Warmth," 17 Nov. 2020 This ridge is responsible for creating strong southerly and southwesterly winds which are bringing warm air all the way into southern Canada. Taylor Ward, CNN, "Record warmth spreading from the Midwest to the Northeast," 10 Nov. 2020 Breezy southerly winds will bring in warmer temps and the high is likely to reach 66 degrees, even under cloudy skies with chances for rain. oregonlive, "Portland metro Tuesday weather: Cloudy, wet, with rain beginning around 10 a.m.," 3 Nov. 2020 Flocks of geese in familiar formation flew over East High’s football field in a southerly direction during the opening moments of play on a brisk but beautiful Saturday afternoon. Matt Nevala, Anchorage Daily News, "East T-birds whip West in semifinal game of Anchorage football playoffs," 18 Oct. 2020 Winds will be a bit breezy, but those strong southerly winds will help to boost temps into the lower 70s, which will be nearly +10F above average for this time of the year in the Twin Cities. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Sunday Night Storms. Tumbling Temps Next Week," 10 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At least it’s warmer, in the mid-40s to around 50 degrees, thanks to a continued light southerly breeze. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A couple more chilly days, before a slow warm up," 18 Dec. 2020 Light southerly breezes help mix and clear the atmosphere a little in the late afternoon. Washington Post, "PM Update: Warm, stagnant air continues into tomorrow," 8 Nov. 2020 Strong southerly winds picked up loose ash from a 1912 volcanic eruption, sending an ash cloud about 4,000 feet into the sky on Monday. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Winds kick up century-old volcanic ash on Alaska Peninsula," 16 Sep. 2020 Strong southerly winds picked up loose ash from a 1912 volcanic eruption, sending an ash cloud about 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) into the sky on Monday. Mark Thiessen, Star Tribune, "Winds kick up century old volcanic ash in Alaska," 15 Sep. 2020 Perhaps, the study authors theorize, the main hunting grounds around the more southerly Disko Bay had been over-exploited, forcing Norse settlers to venture into new territory. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Did Over-Hunting Walruses Fuel the Collapse of Norse Greenland?," 8 Jan. 2020 Going into sunset, and a couple regional fireworks displays, light southerly breezes will recharge the mugginess. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "PM Update: Mugginess builds tonight. Lower rain chance Sunday, but still hot.," 4 July 2020 To the north are the Khasi Hills, standing athwart the path of moisture-laden southerly winds eager to continue north. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019

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

Adjective or adverb

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1837, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for southerly

Adjective or adverb

south entry 3 + -erly (as in easterly)

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Time Traveler for southerly

Time Traveler

The first known use of southerly was in 1550

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Statistics for southerly

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Southerly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for southerly


How to pronounce southerly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of southerly

: located in or moving toward the south
: blowing from the south


adjective or adverb
south·​er·​ly | \ ˈsə-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce southerly (audio) \

Kids Definition of southerly

1 : from the south a southerly wind
2 : toward the south a southerly shore They sailed southerly.

More from Merriam-Webster on southerly

Nglish: Translation of southerly for Spanish Speakers

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