1 of 2

adjective or adverb

south·​er·​ly ˈsə-t͟hər-lē How to pronounce southerly (audio)
: situated toward or belonging to the south
the southerly shore of the lake
: coming from the south
a southerly wind


2 of 2


plural southerlies
: a wind from the south

Examples of southerly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective or adverb
The same conditions that fueled last week’s storms — an area of low pressure combined with strong southerly winds — will make conditions ideal for another round of severe weather Tuesday into early morning Wednesday, Bunker said. Sean Murphy,, 4 Apr. 2023 But the National Weather Service says the more southerly track of this storm has shifted heavier snowfall both south and north of the Portland/Vancouver area. oregonlive, 14 Feb. 2023 The adventure begins in a southerly direction, traveling through the Panama Canal, then down the west coast of South America. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 21 Apr. 2023 Rain and southerly winds were expected to continue across most of the Eastern United States at least through the Fourth of July, clearing the way for fireworks, cookouts and other outdoor activities over the holiday weekend, said David Roth, a forecaster with the federal Weather Prediction Center. Derrick Bryson Taylor, New York Times, 30 June 2023 On Sunday and Monday, a smoky haze had settled over parts of northwestern Vermont and was carried out Monday afternoon by southerly winds. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 27 June 2023 Afternoon sun peeks are possible along with southerly wind gusts around 20 mph. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 23 June 2023 An isolated storm coming through would likely be Friday afternoon, with the best chances remaining over Hill Country The return of southerly winds on Friday into Saturday brings with it storm chances. Shepard Price, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2023 In the months leading up to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, the sun’s rays gradually shift southward from the equator until the sun reaches its most southerly point in the sky at the Tropic of Capricorn, a mapmaker’s line that parallels the equator at 23.5 degrees south latitude. Aylin Woodward, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2022
If southerly breezes kick up a bit during the early morning hours, warmest spots may hover in the upper 40s. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2022 A couple of afternoon southerly breezes could gust around 15 mph. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 Evening southerly breezes, which may gust a couple of times near 20 mph, should calm fairly quickly as the night progresses. Washington Post, 23 Apr. 2022 Very light southerly breezes are helping to bring in milder, moister air. Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2022 Light southerly winds coupled with overcast skies have kept overnight temperatures in the upper 30s to lower 40s through the metro area. oregonlive, 2 Feb. 2022 Light southerly breezes will increase a tad during the afternoon, as a few clouds show up nearer sunset. Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2022 Strong southerly winds could pound the beaches early in the day with gusts in the 50-60 mph range. oregonlive, 9 Dec. 2021 Light southerly breezes could occasionally gust near 15 mph. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Adjective or adverb

south entry 3 + -erly (as in easterly)

First Known Use

Adjective Or Adverb

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of southerly was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near southerly

Cite this Entry

“Southerly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: toward the south
: coming from the south

More from Merriam-Webster on southerly

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!