south·er·ly | \ˈsə-t͟hər-lē \

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

Current strong southerly winds mean the dust has easily crossed the Mediterranean Sea. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Houston's beautiful orange pink sky at sunset, explained by science," 6 July 2018 Confidence: Medium Breaks in the clouds Sunday are welcome but southerly winds push in tropical air, with highs rising to uncomfortable mid-80s. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heavy rain at times into Saturday, with a risk of flooding," 17 May 2018 Second, winds need to be out of the west-southwest with not much of a southerly component — but strong enough so that is sea breeze doesn’t kick in during the afternoon. Dave Epstein,, "Will we hit 100 degrees next week? It’s possible," 26 June 2018 After dinner, Longitude 131 resident astronomer will regale guests with tales of the southerly constellations. Stuart Rigg, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Australia," 5 Oct. 2016 This is because the southerly component of the air coming off Long Island Sound is going to tend to keep temperatures from reaching extreme levels. Dave Epstein,, "It could feel close to 100 degrees in parts of New England on Monday," 18 June 2018 We got stuck in a persistent southerly wind pattern aloft that brought wave after wave of tropical moisture our way, including Alberto. Helena Oliviero, ajc, "The rain may be over, but Lake Lanier remains unsafe for swimmers," 5 June 2018 Sewage spills are as much a part of life in the South Bay as are the surfers who ride the southerly swells. Gustavo Solis,, "How do you run a surf shop when sewage spills constantly close the beach?," 27 May 2018 Memories are still sharp from the last flood in Big Thompson Canyon, in 2013, when a September cold front stalled over the east side of the Rockies, colliding with warm, moist southerly air to produce more than 15 inches of rain over a six-day span. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "Colorado Charts a New Path Away from Floodwaters," 25 May 2018

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

The first known use of southerly was in 1550

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English Language Learners Definition of southerly

: located in or moving toward the south

: blowing from the south

south·er·ly | \ˈsə-t͟hər-lē \

Kids Definition of southerly

1 : from the south a southerly wind

2 : toward the south a southerly shore They sailed southerly.

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