Definition of northward in English:



  • Lying towards, near, or facing the north.

    ‘the current that runs northward up this coastline’
    • ‘Using satellite linked depth recorders we examined the spatial and temporal diving behavior of 22 male sea lions for up to 3 months during their northward migration.’
    • ‘In the middle decades of the eighteenth century a group of Swiss Jesuits labored in the Southwest of the present United States to promote the northward expansion of New Spain.’
    • ‘But nothing prepared them for life in this squatters' community of Tijuana, a city of three million souls that is known as the Wild West of Mexico's northward immigration.’
    • ‘Current plans call for the ground-floor spaces to be leased to commercial tenants - possibly galleries, if the Chelsea art district in fact continues its northward push.’
    • ‘Allardyce's Brazilian target may be slipping away from him in a northward direction, however.’
    • ‘Additionally, all five species that were studied individually exhibited highly significant northward movement in the spring.’
    • ‘For juveniles wintering farther south, feather wear is less of a consideration, because they oversummer and will have molted new primaries prior to their first northward migration in their second spring.’
    • ‘But the genetic changes could also be a reflection of more recent northward migrations following the last Ice Age, about 14,000 years ago, he says.’
    • ‘His simulations show that large cyclonic eddies occasionally form in the northern portions of the Gulf and block the northward intrusion of the Loop Current.’
    • ‘A northward extension at the west end of this trench is also included here because it had pottery of the same date.’
    • ‘Relative to the direction of the setting sun, the songbirds wanted to fly in a direction that was 90 degrees counterclockwise from the detected magnetic field in order to stay on a northward track.’
    • ‘Both Gordon and Kuchler mapped northward extensions of oak along river valleys into southern New York.’
    • ‘The flashing light paced our aircraft in steady northward direction.’
    • ‘Ridged fields apparently protect crops from mild frosts, and their construction may have facilitated the northward expansion of prehistoric agriculture.’
    • ‘Within the Mackenzie Basin, a northward decrease in runoff reflects the spatial trend in precipitation, which shows a decline towards the northern plains and the Shield areas.’
    • ‘Parts of Scotland provide a suitable habitat for this bird, but its range in that country seems to be slowly contracting in a northward direction.’
    • ‘One route scholars have suggested began in the eastern Solomon Islands or in the islands to their southeast, and followed a northward course to the Caroline Islands.’
    • ‘The northward migration peaks from mid-April to early May, and the fall migration peaks in August.’
    • ‘Due to the high density of the shoals, the sardine run offers an ideal opportunity for various cold-water predators that follow the sardines on their northward migration.’
    • ‘This slender land bridge is furrowed by two parallel mountain ranges and, between them, the cavernous Jordan Valley, itself a northward continuation of Africa's Great Rift.’


  • Towards the north.

    • ‘But there were no cod left to spawn, and the Irminger Current no longer flowed northwards bringing new recruits.’
    • ‘Kara stretched and started walking northwards, cursing the man who caused her to go on this wretched journey in the first place.’
    • ‘It raised up northwards about an inch and a half.’
    • ‘The miners traveling northward need sled dogs to explore the snowy reaches of the Klondike, since it is too difficult to travel through these areas on foot, and a horse's hooves would push right through that deep snow.’
    • ‘It was striking, that the object made the same half circle over and over again; northwards and then back to my house.’
    • ‘About a week later, the hatchlings usually follow their mothers northwards.’
    • ‘You two go east, you three go south with the river, Max and I will continue northwards.’
    • ‘With the seeming of calm, she finished planting the cutting, then brushed the soil from her hands, got up, and started to jog northwards.’
    • ‘On the other hand, species like the dotterel and snow bunting look set to head northwards, leaving British shores for colder climes.’
    • ‘The tower has moved northwards by about 20 inches, not visible to the naked eye.’
    • ‘As one moves northwards into the mountains, temperatures decrease and rainfall increases.’
    • ‘In fact, what we see here is exactly how this enormous area was left after the last glaciers retreated northwards more than 10,000 years ago.’
    • ‘In the south, tropical rainforests have penetrated northwards from South America.’
    • ‘In North America, the Arctic tundra is expected to retreat northwards and be replaced by forest.’
    • ‘Hopkins was heading northwards, through the narrow passageways that led to the Council Room; he stopped before the large door, and tried to open it.’
    • ‘Alienated from both white and black communities, they trekked northwards, finally founding their own town Rehoboth, in 1871.’
    • ‘Similarly, warm tropical air masses move freely northward in the summer.’
    • ‘They cite the case of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 that was due to hit the island, and then veered northwards at the last moment.’
    • ‘Tynan's site expands from this 1930s concrete shell northwards onto Essex Street East, the busiest in Temple Bar.’
    • ‘In Scandinavia, birch trees are moving northwards into previously icy areas used for reindeer herding.’
    • ‘As her eyes adjusted, she could see that they were still headed northwards, crawling up the coastline.’
    • ‘Mighty hunter Baluk proposes that the solution is to travel northwards in order to intercept the annual caribou migration and hunt the herd for the band's needs.’
    to the north, northward, northwards, northwardly
    View synonyms


the northward
  • The direction or region to the north.

    ‘a foray to the northward’
    • ‘This is the area that got overtop right there in the northward.’
    • ‘Having recovered the servant, boots included, we left in the midst of a smart shower of rain, running out of harbor under all plain sail before a fresh breeze from the northward, and Halifax soon faded in the distance.’