Definition of northerly in English:


adverb & adjective

  • 1In a northward position or direction.

    as adjective ‘he set off in a northerly direction’
    • ‘Now they would depart from the Kurile Islands, begin by sailing toward Alaska and then turn to approach Pearl Harbor from an unexpected northerly direction.’
    • ‘The 2002 series is spread across the entire panorama of Scottish golf - from the furthest flung northerly courses at Caithness and the wild west coast at Turnberry to the links and parklands of the Highlands and Speyside.’
    • ‘Norton trainer Malcolm Jefferson can make his long journey to Britain's most northerly course worthwhile by winning the Famous Grouse Novices' Hurdle with Brooklyn Brownie.’
    • ‘Now the peace-loving people of Scotland's most northerly communities are being engulfed by a rising tide of anger over what they regard as a threat to the ancient links with their Scandinavian forebears.’
    • ‘We had our running lights on and proceeded in a northerly direction very slowly.’
    • ‘This newest and most northerly Hotel du Vin & Bistro reveals the canny business sense of founder Robin Hutson, who has already opened five properties in England.’
    • ‘In the spring of 1995 the main Nightingale mine workings were investigated, and on each subsequent trip, workings were examined one by one in a northerly direction.’
    • ‘They moved in a general northerly direction, skirting towns as they found them, avoiding the main roads and a couple of times detouring some distance where towns controlled a bridge or ford to find a place to cross.’
    • ‘As the hurricane itself passes through, what we seem to now be getting is the wind almost blowing from the west to east, and then in a northerly direction, which is just the opposite of what we've been getting up to now.’
    • ‘The M8 proceeds in a northerly direction to Grantstown where a junction is provided.’
    • ‘We were filming the last sunset of the last century from Britain's most northerly RAF base, Saxa Vord.’
    • ‘Their northerly opponents, nine games without a win after this defeat with six consecutive home reverses, have somehow plummeted enough in form to rekindle what seemed unthinkable relegation fears not so long ago.’
    • ‘So I walked up past the cathedral, keeping in a northerly direction, crossed a wide boulevard and came to the apparent outskirts of Aix.’
    • ‘We struck out in a northerly direction, passing through Norwich, and stopping for coffee in Hanover, New Hampshire.’
    • ‘A country which consists largely of lava fields and glaciers, and which has a long dark winter because of its northerly position, is not a great place for agricultural produce.’
    • ‘The Ox Mountains stretch from Foxford in east Mayo right through south Sligo in a northerly direction towards Ballysadare Bay and provides a home for approximately 30,000 hill ewes.’
    • ‘There is also a suggestion that the match against Japan could be played in the Caledonian region to reward Scotland's most northerly region for its crucial and growing contribution to the national squad.’
    • ‘The path runs from the A4 Marlborough-Beckhampton road by the Thames water pumping station at Clatford and runs in a northerly direction to Manton House Stables.’
    • ‘The curved feature of the exhibition has been designed to offset the northerly aspect of the building's position.’
    • ‘With the British section of our Ontario travels finished, we decide to make tracks, but not before comparing the ski facilities in Vienna, Ontario with those of the more northerly Zurich, Ontario.’
    1. 1.1 (of wind) blowing from the north.
      as adjective ‘a fresh northerly wind’
      as adverb ‘the wind was gusting northerly’
      • ‘In this country we get this with a northerly wind.’
      • ‘There is a very cold northerly wind blowing so the luxury of a hot steam was welcome.’
      • ‘Easterly winds bring us this extreme cold and, unlike a northerly wind, the easterly wind only has a short distance to travel over the warming sea.’
      • ‘Yorkshire did not see any significant snowfalls, instead enjoying a bright and clear Christmas Day with plenty of sunshine, although northerly winds are expected to bring snow by the weekend.’
      • ‘We've chosen a bright day with a moderate northerly wind, but still have a very wet boat ride.’
      • ‘The wind has finally returned and a steady northerly breeze of some 15 knots whisked the monohull and multihull fleets around their respective courses.’
      • ‘Snow slurries were expected to leave the region shivering today, with the promise of raw northerly winds, possibly gale force, blowing into tomorrow.’
      • ‘Hail showers are quite common over the British Isles in westerly and northerly airstreams in spring, but really large hailstones tend to occur in the south and are very much a feature of Summer months.’
      • ‘As a result, regions to the east of a high-pressure center often have northerly winds bringing in relatively cold air while regions to the west have southerly winds bringing in relatively warm air.’
      • ‘On the morning of 16 December, dust in Adelaide was thick enough to require lights to be turned on; strong northerly winds took this dust over the southernmost areas of South Australia.’
      • ‘In fact, weather stations use the shift from a southerly to a northerly wind direction as the indication that a cold front has passed the station.’
      • ‘Unlike 1908, the hot spells in 1939 were accompanied by strong northerly winds, and followed a very dry six months.’
      • ‘Several fires were already burning in Tasmania by the 7th, when an approaching cold front brought strengthening northerly winds and extremely hot air.’
      • ‘The tight spacing of the isobars indicates strong northerly winds, averaging some 50 km/h over much of Victoria.’
      • ‘Another less useful and sometimes damaging effect of mountains is their funnelling properties: The Mistral is a cold northerly wind that is redirected through the Rhone valley by the surrounding heights.’
      • ‘As they reached the summit, an icy northerly wind began to blow sleet into their faces.’
      • ‘The other good news is that the northerly monsoons have arrived in the Gulf, blowing steadily from north-west veering north-east.’
      • ‘It was wet and windy on New Year's Eve and even colder on New Year's Day with strong northerly winds blowing across the course.’
      • ‘The airport was near the gulf and, therefore, somewhat protected from the northerly winds and low visibility.’
      • ‘Late on the morning of 8 February 1983 a strong, but dry, cold front began crossing Victoria, preceded by hot, gusty northerly winds.’
      northern, northerly, northwardly, arctic, polar
      View synonyms


  • A wind blowing from the north.

    ‘we saw a number of petrels in the strong northerlies’
    • ‘Varun, the mythical wind god obliged and a moderate 10-15 knot northerly, clear skies and a short chop greeted the fleets at the Royal Cliff start line.’
    • ‘Between March and September, strong northerlies blow the whole length of the waterway.’
    • ‘But slowly the cloud cover broke and a light northerly filled in, ending later in the afternoon, as a perfect day.’
    • ‘With a forecast for light northerlies we head back to Mt. Buffalo.’
    • ‘And the whole idea is that we're going to be traversing the city on a kind of low-down northerly and an upper westerly, so then the balloonists just choose the height that they fly to steer it.’
    • ‘They loom as dark shadows in the consciousness of residents of these states on summer days when strong northerlies, extreme heat, and low humidity follow a long dry period.’
    • ‘What had started as a mild wind and light rain ended by morning as a howling northerly and sleet and snow.’
    • ‘We noticed that the wind had changed to a strong cold northerly and quite frankly we were not very optimistic about our chances.’
    • ‘There is a northerly with us this weekend, then westerlies will come across bringing some rain.’
    • ‘During the day we sailed with the prevailing northerly, the small vessel cutting through the water at a steady clip.’