west·​ward | \ ˈwes-twərd \

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 \ adverb

Examples of westward in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective

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 That happens, in part, due to a fundamental change in the monsoon rains around the Indian Ocean, forcing them to shift westward. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Mad scientists flip the Earth’s spin in climate models, watch water go nuts," 17 Oct. 2018 The flooding could worsen as Florence crawls westward, dumping more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) of rain in some spots since Thursday afternoon. Fox News, "AP PHOTOS: Flooding from Florence swamps neighborhoods," 16 Sep. 2018 As of noon, the potentially life-threatening storm was more than 1,200 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving westward. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "Airlines Are Waiving Change Fees as Hurricane Florence Threatens the East Coast," 10 Sep. 2018 When Olympic Boulevard was extended westward through Westwood in 1936, those residents south of the new boulevard decided to break with their larger neighbor to the north and rebrand their community of modest homes as Rancho Park. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Rancho Park takes its spot in a post-modest world," 8 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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Statistics for westward

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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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 \

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).


a servile follower or underling

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