west·​er·​ly | \ ˈwe-stər-lē How to pronounce westerly (audio) \

Definition of westerly

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : situated toward or belonging to the west the westerly end of the farm
2 : coming from the west a westerly breeze


plural westerlies

Definition of westerly (Entry 2 of 3)

: a wind from the west


geographical name
Wes·​ter·​ly | \ ˈwe-stər-lē How to pronounce Westerly (audio) \

Definition of Westerly (Entry 3 of 3)

town in southwestern Rhode Island on the border with Connecticut population 17,936

Examples of westerly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb

Among the far-flung effects of El Niño events, which are oscillations in climate caused by changes in the Pacific, are stronger upper-level westerly winds in the Atlantic, which prevent hurricanes from forming. The Economist, "Slow-moving Hurricane Dorian devastates the northern Bahamas," 4 Sep. 2019 Starting around late 2013, waters off the West Coast rose two to four degrees above normal, as a high-pressure system in the Pacific shut down westerly winds that channel cool waters down the West Coast. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Colder waters off West Coast mark end of “the blob”," 27 Aug. 2019 The team set up the computer to slowly print out a graph of how one or two variables—say, the latitude of the strongest westerly winds—changed over time. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "These Hidden Women Helped Invent Chaos Theory," 26 May 2019 The storm was moving in a westerly direction, threatening other parts of the Phoenix metro area as well. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "Severe thunderstorm warning issued for East Valley," 9 July 2018 Light winds from the south shift to come from a westerly direction later in the day. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: A nice day for a parade; highs in the 80s return tomorrow," 12 June 2018 Dr Kaitlin Naughten, sea ice modeller at British Antarctic Survey, said Antarctica is largely protected from atmospheric warming by the westerly winds which surround the continent. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "After decades of increases, sea ice in Antarctica is now shrinking," 1 July 2019 At that time, fire/smoke will move to the south over the Sterling Highway, daytime heating will cause westerly winds up the mountain valleys which will carry the smoke towards the communities of Cooper Landing and Moose Pass. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Wind shift gives crews fighting Peninsula wildfire time to bolster Sterling Highway defenses," 25 June 2019 Under sunny skies and in a crisp westerly breeze, supporters of the Storyknife Writers Retreat on May 4 attended groundbreaking ceremonies for a main house and cabins that will house visiting women authors. Michael Armstrong, The Seattle Times, "Ground broken for Storyknife Writers Retreat near Homer," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the land cools in the autumn, north-easterly winds replace the south-westerlies (see map). The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 But their move from the southern hemisphere to the northern, and the constraining effect of high pressure over Africa, sees them twisted from south-easterlies to south-westerlies. 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 'westerly.' 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 westerly

Adjective or adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for westerly

Adjective or adverb

obsolete wester western

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Statistics for westerly

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for westerly

The first known use of westerly was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for westerly



English Language Learners Definition of westerly

: located or moving toward the west
: blowing from the west
west·​er·​ly | \ ˈwe-stər-lē How to pronounce westerly (audio) \

Kids Definition of westerly

1 : toward the west the lake's westerly shore
2 : from the west a westerly wind

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More from Merriam-Webster on westerly

Spanish Central: Translation of westerly

Nglish: Translation of westerly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about westerly

Comments on westerly

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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