Definition of meridional in English:



  • 1Of or in the south; southern.

    ‘the meridional leg of the journey’
    • ‘The presence of ice sheets, together with the development of sea ice in the polar oceans, also resulted in an increase in meridional (north - south) temperature gradients.’
    • ‘Most European pre-Quaternary localities are positioned in a restricted latitudinal band, requiring dense and well-dated temporal and spatial records for meridional patterns to be detected.’
    southern, southerly, southwardly, antarctic, polar
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    1. 1.1 Relating to or characteristic of the inhabitants of southern Europe, especially the South of France.
      ‘she was meridional in temperament’
      • ‘However, the zweite Frühstück (second breakfast) eaten in various German-speaking regions is an important northerly counterpart of this meridional institution.’
  • 2Relating to a meridian.

    ‘the meridional line of demarcation’
    • ‘In the pre-equatorial zone, cells were densely packed, whereas in the equatorial zone, the cells were arranged in the form of distinct meridional rows.’
    • ‘Both regions are muscular, covered with a dense sheet of radial muscles and rings of circular and meridional muscles.’
    • ‘Between the regions contacting leaf primordia, the peripheral zone cells are curved predominantly in the meridional direction.’
    • ‘The meridional and circular muscles antagonize the radial muscles.’
    • ‘The axial intensity distribution was calculated by integrating the region from 0.013 nm - 1 on either side of the meridional axis of the x-ray pattern.’
    1. 2.1Meteorology (of winds and air flow) aligned with lines of longitude.
      ‘the spinning of a planet on its axis deflects the meridional winds sideways’
      • ‘The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation carries warm upper waters into far-northern latitudes and returns cold deep waters southward across the Equator.’
      • ‘This juxtaposition of high-pressure and low-pressure systems in similar latitudes causes much more meridional airflow than is normally experienced in similar latitudes in the southern hemisphere.’
      • ‘The vigor of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is thought to be vulnerable to global warming.’
      • ‘The timing of deglaciation shows a close correspondence to increased meridional overturning of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and attendant warming of the North Atlantic Ocean immediately after the last glacial maximum.’
      • ‘The first, known as the meridional flow pattern, circulates between the sun's equator and its poles over a period of 17 to 22 years and acts like a conveyor belt of sunspots.’


  • A native or inhabitant of southern Europe, especially the south of France.


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin meridionalis, formed irregularly from Latin meridies ‘midday, south’.