1 of 2


wind·​ward ˈwin(d)-wərd How to pronounce windward (audio)
: the side or direction from which the wind is blowing


2 of 2


: being in or facing the direction from which the wind is blowing compare leeward
to windward
: into or in an advantageous position

Examples of windward in a Sentence

Adjective The windward side of the mountain was rocky and treeless.
Recent Examples on the Web
For plants, such walls are edges that separate patches of ground into zones that are sunny or shady, windward or leeward, uphill or downhill, wetter or drier. Robert M. Thorson, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2023 Such ecological effects extend well beyond individual walls, because opposite sites are sunny and shaded, windward and leeward, and upslope and downslope. Robert Thorson, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Nov. 2023 My guess is that there is definitely suitable habitat, particularly in the mountains and on the windward side of the island, where the spiders would do just fine. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 20 Apr. 2015 This 10-night sailing from Miami embarks on Regent Seven Seas' newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor, for a leisurely sail through the Caribbean’s windward isles. Scott Laird, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 Oct. 2022 Over time, the model huddle tended to take on the shape of a flat-sided oval and travel slowly downwind (as penguins on the windward side continuously moved away from it). Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2012 On the windward side of St. Martin, the Palm Court Residence in Orient Bay is a colorful, 21-room boutique property with lush gardens, and bold colors embellishing the facade, the interior spaces and the furnishings. Jeanine Barone, Forbes, 27 June 2022 Meteorologists said rainfall amounts will range from 2-4 inches early this week from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle, and locally higher amounts are possible on the windward sides of the mountains. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2022 On the windward side, however, facing the northeast, waves pummeled the sea wall that protected a small inner harbor., 29 Jan. 2022
Ice formed a shell several inches thick, with up to eight inches growing on the helicopter’s windward side. Ned Rozell | Alaska Science, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Aug. 2023 Rainfall of a upwards to 4 to 10 inches are possible through Thursday along the windward slopes of the state's Big Island. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches is expected on the windward areas of Maui, and 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall elsewhere in the state. Robert Shackelford, CNN, 19 July 2023 The damage commonly occurs on the south or southwest side of the plant or on the windward side of a plant that is exposed. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 28 May 2023 Herreshoff designed Elena as a sistership to Westward but fitted her with a fuller keel which lowered her center of ballast and amended the dimension of her rigs to further improve her windward ability. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 26 May 2023 Lanikai Beach, Hawaii Googling photos of Lanikai Beach on the windward coast of Oahu induces wanderlust. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 5 Mar. 2023 The leeward side, including Ka’anapali, Lahaina, Kihei, Kapalua, and Wailea, is typically drier, while the windward side, where Iao Valley and Hana are located, tends to be wetter. Sunny Fitzgerald, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2023 Kahalu’u is on the island’s windward side, and Maxine, like many Chinese people who believe that wind disturbs one’s qi, or life-force equilibrium, found the constant gusts distressing. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 1 June 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'windward.' 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


1549, in the meaning defined above


1627, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of windward was in 1549

Dictionary Entries Near windward

Cite this Entry

“Windward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
wind·​ward ˈwin-(d)wərd How to pronounce windward (audio)
: moving or placed toward the direction from which the wind is blowing


2 of 2 noun
: the side or direction from which the wind is blowing
sail to windward

More from Merriam-Webster on windward

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