west·​ward | \ ˈwes-twərd How to pronounce westward (audio) \

Definition of westward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: toward the west



Definition of westward (Entry 2 of 2)

: westward direction or part sail to the westward

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Other Words from westward

Adverb or adjective

westwards \ -​twərdz How to pronounce westwards (audio) \ adverb

Examples of westward in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective

Now Republicans are gazing westward, eager to shift the balance of a prominent federal appellate court long known for its liberal rulings. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Republicans Look West to Shift Balance of Power on Liberal Appeals Court," 3 Apr. 2019 Many arrived in Philadelphia and made their way westward and then down the Appalachians, populating the Southern upcountry. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "A Short History of American Immigration," 20 Nov. 2018 That day, the first Friday of July, air from the Mojave blew westward and stalled, compressed and extra hot, over Los Angeles. Zia Ur-rehman, The Seattle Times, "How record heat has wreaked havoc on four continents," 31 July 2018 The islands are part of a volcanic chain that extend 1,200 miles westward from the Alaska peninsula. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stern of US WW II destroyer discovered near remote Alaskan island: Survivor recounts harrowing day," 16 Aug. 2018 To travel westward across the U.S. is to experience a striking landscape metamorphosis. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "A Nation Divided: Arid/Humid Climate Boundary in U.S. Creeps Eastward," 27 Apr. 2018 The Latest on the effects of Hurricane Florence (all times local): 10:50 a.m. Weather forecasters say Tropical Storm Kirk has formed in the eastern Atlantic and is moving rapidly westward. Fox News, "The Latest: Tropical Storm Kirk forms in Atlantic Ocean," 22 Sep. 2018 Nielsen gave three other traffic updates: • Two lanes will be provided in each direction on surface Alaskan Way, where a thinner detour road will be moved westward, from under the Viaduct. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Permanent closure of Alaskan Way Viaduct delayed until January," 17 Sep. 2018 Over the next few centuries, new versions of the idea seemed to pop up anywhere people needed to build lots of homes in a hurry — during the California Gold Rush, after the Chicago fire, and through America’s westward expansion. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, "Piece by Piece, a Factory-Made Answer for a Housing Squeeze," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Averaging 10 miles a day, nine men completed the westward run and were welcomed as heroes by the Dutch. Daniel Ford, WSJ, "‘The Escape Artists’ Review: Keep Calm and Keep Shoveling," 27 Sep. 2018 Stretching its engineering capacity and technological innovation westward helps China expand and modernize its economy, as well as bolster alliances. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "Trophy Infrastructure, Troublesome Debt: China Makes Inroads in Europe," 5 Nov. 2018 The center of Florence continues its slow westward trek across eastern South Carolina. Fox News, "Florence's path: Track the tropical depression here," 16 Sep. 2018 Al-Mesmari said forces are chasing the militias, led by Ibrahim Jadhran, westwards. Washington Post, "East Libya forces say regain control over oil ports," 21 June 2018 The path of the relatively tiny Hurricane Beryl is currently tracking westwards through the Atlantic in the general direction of Puerto Rico. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Hurricane Beryl Is Officially the First Atlantic Hurricane of the Year. Here's Where it's Headed," 6 July 2018 One of the highlights is the new entrance into the arch, a light-gathering disk with a westward facing crescent entryway. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "Gateway Arch: An American classic gets a major overhaul," 29 June 2018 Initially, the westward pull resulted from the nation’s rapid geographic expansion. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018 On this date: In 1492, a contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia. Staff, cleveland.com, "Comment here on cleveland.com court and crime stories for Tuesday, April 17, 2018," 17 Apr. 2018

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

Adverb or adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1596, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for westward

The first known use of westward was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for westward



English Language Learners Definition of westward

: toward the west
west·​ward | \ ˈwest-wərd How to pronounce westward (audio) \

Kids Definition of westward

: toward the west Settlers moved westward.

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More from Merriam-Webster on westward

Spanish Central: Translation of westward

Nglish: Translation of westward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of westward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on westward

What made you want to look up westward? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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