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adverb or adjective

south·​ward ˈsau̇th-wərd How to pronounce southward (audio)
: toward the south
southwards adverb


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: southward direction or part
sail to the southward

Examples of southward in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb or adjective
Palestinians in northern Gaza make the journey southward Sunday. NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 Similar short-term pauses have occurred over the past several days as tens of thousands of civilians have fled southward, but Thursday's announcement appeared to be an effort to formalize and expand the process, as the U.S. has pressed Israelis to take greater steps to protect civilians in Gaza. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 10 Nov. 2023 The fire eventually spread southward toward one of the company’s neighborhoods, but those houses all appear to have survived. Shawn Hubler, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2023 Forecast models are looking at a 70% chance of more widespread soaking rains showing up Thursday as a system dives southward from Vancouver Island. oregonlive, 29 Aug. 2023 Is this the first time smoke from Canada has so broadly affected large swathes of US? Both 2013 and 2001 saw smoke from Canadian fires drifting southward into the United States. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 9 June 2023 Warplanes continued to blast Gaza over the weekend, as civilians fled southward, following Israel’s evacuation instructions. Yahya Abou-Ghazala, CNN, 16 Oct. 2023 Mohamed Hamed, a 36-year-old resident of Gaza City, moved southward to Nuseirat, a refugee camp some five kilometers north-east of Deir al-Balah – which he was told was safe. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 14 Oct. 2023 The only difference between the two is ongoing gusty winds on Sunday as Philippe merges with a low-pressure system over eastern Canada driving strong breezes southward. David Streit, Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2023
However, southward intrusions of polar air can still happen, and outweigh El Niño’s influence. Scott Dance, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2023 When the polar jet stream is either displaced very far northward or southward, storms that would normally move through Washington or British Columbia are steered to California and Oregon instead. CBS News, 12 Oct. 2023 Their efforts revealed that the disease spread from Connecticut into neighboring states, reaching northwards into Maine and southwards to North Carolina, Virginia and even into eastern West Virginia. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 6 Oct. 2023 What is clear is that Ukraine has significantly ratcheted up its seven-week-old counteroffensive, along two southward thrusts apparently aimed at cities in the Zaporizhzhia region: Melitopol, near the Sea of Azov, and Berdiansk, to the east, on the Azov coast. Richard Pérez-Peña, New York Times, 27 July 2023 Ukraine is focused on two main southward thrusts, with the aim of cutting off Russian resupply routes. Carlotta Gall, New York Times, 31 July 2023 Areas from about Woodburn southward haven’t seen much yet. oregonlive, 9 June 2023 The cargo rate from St. Louis southward is now up 77% above the three-year average. Scott McFetridge, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 Vigorous complex of storms north and west of Beltway pushing eastward toward District; Flash flood warning for parts of western Montgomery County Severe thunderstorm warnings cover much of the area from the Interstate 270 corridor southward to Sterling and Reston. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, 14 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'southward.' 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 southward was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near southward

Cite this Entry

“Southward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: toward the south

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