Definition of southerly in English:


adjective & adverb

  • 1In a southward position or direction.

    ‘the most southerly of the Greek islands’
    as adverb ‘they made off southerly’
    • ‘One light then moved quickly in a northerly direction while the other three moved quickly in a southerly direction and out of sight.’
    • ‘We continue through the brush, ducking under low tree limbs and heading more or less in a southerly direction where the canyon should be.’
    • ‘The most southerly of St Vincent's sister islands, Union Island is only three miles long by one mile wide, fringed with gorgeous bays, lagoons, and reefs with perfect sailing waters.’
    • ‘The most southerly of the Windward Island chain of West Indian islands, Grenada is part of the English-speaking Caribbean.’
    • ‘As it was, they were having to tack back and forth to maintain the southerly direction.’
    • ‘We must also remember that the potential damage to more southerly developing countries could include devastating flooding and desertification.’
    • ‘He pointed along the top of the ridge, in a southerly direction.’
    • ‘That would explain why boreal plants and animals persist this far south, in some cases isolated from their next most southerly homes.’
    • ‘Winds ahead of a cold front tend to be from a southerly direction while those behind the front - in the cooler air - tend to be northerly.’
    • ‘The objects slowed at one point, and then sped back up heading in a southerly direction.’
    • ‘Because of our southerly position in the Caribbean, we in Trinidad have had to deal with an actual hurricane only on rare occasions.’
    • ‘Three stones lie outside the circle to the north-east, the most southerly with possible ring-marks.’
    • ‘As we flew in a southerly direction down the airway from Phoenix, passing Marana, the twilight was fading in the western sky across the desert.’
    • ‘However he was called in the afternoon by his friends who said she had set off in a southerly direction.’
    • ‘Margaux is the most southerly, most isolated, and most extensive of the Médoc's communal appellations.’
    • ‘The isolated tower perched on a rock near Ireland's most southerly point, Mizen Head, has many moods and a long interesting history.’
    • ‘He distanced himself from the conventional business model in the planet's most southerly and remote vineyard.’
    • ‘You just don't know what it's going to do from one day to the next, so we left Mevagissey in the rain stopping off at the Lizard, the British mainland's most southerly point.’
    • ‘We kept heading in a southerly direction, following the convolutions of the shoreline.’
    • ‘The chunks were carried in a southerly direction and dropped from the glacier as the ice melted.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the south.
      as adjective ‘a southerly gale’
      as adverb ‘the wind had backed southerly’
      • ‘A strong southerly wind is also predicted to blast into Wellington to increase the discomfort of players and spectators.’
      • ‘This pleases me immensely because I am able to cheat those southerly winds.’
      • ‘One of the unusual things about this particular storm was that it was a southerly gale and not the usual westerly gales that tend to affect the south of Britain.’
      • ‘The wind was quite variable during the course of the day, with a 20 km easterly tailwind at the start, turning southerly and reducing as the day progressed.’
      • ‘Aided by southerly winds, adults migrate from southern areas and appear in Nebraska in July.’
      • ‘Strong southerly winds forced a number of retirements yesterday, with 18 boats out of the race and seven more seeking shelter along the Australian coast to see if conditions improved.’
      • ‘Four fishermen tragically lost their lives at night off the south coast of Connemara when their fishing trawler the St. Oliver from Rossaveal was broken up in strong southerly winds and rough seas.’
      • ‘A southerly wind blew up which had me turning circles in an attempt to compensate for abrupt changes of direction.’
      • ‘The strongest wind gust was measured last Sunday with a southerly wind blowing at 35 knots.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Local anglers know the best day for good results is when a warm southerly or south westerly wind blows at speeds of about 10-15 miles per hour and with low cloud overhead.’
      • ‘On Saturday morning we awake to strong southerly winds, thick low clouds and cold air.’
      • ‘Half an hour later, fed and watered, we left via the very quiet Mill Lane, the asphalt was sticky, a strong southerly wind blew into our faces and a large flock of rooks gyrated above the ash trees.’
      • ‘Warm fronts often form to the east of low pressure centers, where southerly winds push warm air northward.’
      • ‘The heavy rain and strong southerly winds in the morning made things very difficult for everyone, but thankfully around 11 a.m. the rain had cleared and the sun shone even though the wind persisted.’
      • ‘Small-stock, particularly the lambs and kids, are vulnerable to these types of near-frost conditions and the chill factor of a southwesterly or southerly breeze.’
      • ‘She was driven ashore in yet another southerly gale, and broke her back the same night.’
      • ‘A combination of one of the highest tides on record and the strong southerly winds left exposed coastal areas of County Down and the Ards Peninsula facing some of their worst flooding in years.’
      • ‘This has brought warm and humid southerly winds, while high above the UK the air is relatively cold.’
      • ‘The site is easy to dive in most conditions except when easterly or southerly gales prevail.’
      southern, southerly, southwardly, meridional, antarctic, polar
      View synonyms


often southerlies
  • A wind blowing from the south.

    ‘the salt spray in the southerlies would rattle like hail on the windowpanes’
    • ‘The weather forecast says cold southerlies, showers and icy temperatures will continue in the South Island for most of the week.’
    • ‘Then grouse lifted, to be swept away by a strong southerly.’
    • ‘The conditions were as perfect as only Mother Nature can make them: moderate, steady southerlies reaching about 15-knots by mid-afternoon, warm water and a most pleasant - if a little hot - ambient temperature.’
    • ‘Their responsibilities were lightened somewhat by the perfect conditions prevailing, with clear skies, slight seas and a moderate 10-knot southerly.’
    • ‘Once the fleet had cleared Cyprus well to the west and out of sight of the island, they heaved into the prevailing southerlies and raced to the coast of Africa.’
    • ‘If you were to ask me, I'd probably label it a nor'wester, and if pressed, suggest that there might be a southerly on the way.’
    • ‘However, with global warming the high pressure systems are stronger and southerlies find it harder and harder to penetrate over the South Island.’
    • ‘Perhaps even more outstanding - because of the timing - were the snowfalls of 19 November 1992: virtually on the eve of summer, strong southerlies brought snow to many southern wheatbelt areas.’
    • ‘Last weekend saw good weather until about mid-day Sunday, when the southerlies set in once more.’
    • ‘Of course, the excitement is dependent upon the wind and lately it has been shifting between the customary north-easterlies and southerlies.’
    • ‘The building certainly felt warmer after spending 20 mins on the side of the road in the southerly.’
    • ‘But after a week of glorious weather, in which this sort of sunset action was de rigueur, a nasty southerly blew in on Sunday, scarpering plans the family had had for a big walk in the Tararuas.’
    • ‘A southerly on Sunday gave the opportunity for a longer north lake course.’
    • ‘Most likely at this time of year is a southerly in which case the competition will be at Suffolk Park near Gaggin Park.’
    • ‘I'd rather have the sea breezes, which is what we do get, we get a nice southerly.’
    • ‘The small craft, with some 60 people on board, really ‘rocked and rolled’ on the way across into the slight swell of a light southerly.’
    • ‘Every waking moment was occupied with sea lore, boat handling, safety at sea, sailing theory and hands-on experience in the light-to-moderate southerlies which prevailed during the week.’
    • ‘The three races held on Day One were sailed in a strengthening southerly, with a big sea causing many capsizes and a lot of aching bones.’
    • ‘Only from October to March is it possible, thanks to gentler southerlies, to sail northwards and then only as far as Jiddah, on the Arabian coast.’