Definition of north in US English:



  • 1The direction in which a compass needle normally points, toward the horizon on the left-hand side of a person facing east, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction.

    ‘a bitter wind blew from the north’
    ‘Mount Kenya is to the north of Nairobi’
    • ‘The white smoke rose in a small trail towards the stormy skies, far to the north of the two warriors.’
    • ‘A few blocks to the north of me, 96th street is blocked off by police lines; I saw them when I was out walking the dog.’
    • ‘This gets more extreme the further north you go.’
    • ‘Ice is building on the trees along my way, worse the farther north I drive.’
    • ‘It's a quarter-mile long street in the City of London, just to the north of St Paul's Cathedral, named after the Dukes of Brittany who once used to own the land round here.’
    • ‘Five armies in those spaces can be defended by up to seven units placed directly to the north of that line, yet only five units can attack from the south.’
    • ‘To the north of the cathedral is the Historical Treasures Museum, devoted mainly to artefacts and precious stones and metals from Ukraine.’
    • ‘Mayor Charles Smith called the existing site, to the north of Swans Green Close junction, an ‘eyesore’ and said action had to be taken.’
    • ‘Without any explanation at all, Master Jezro lumbered off towards the north one day, and to my knowledge, he was never seen again.’
    • ‘Fortunately for Bermuda, it's expected to pass almost 400 miles to the north of the island and is unlikely to lead to anything worse than a slightly windy day tomorrow.’
    • ‘Milnthorpe has always been well known as a welcome stop-off point on journeys north on the A6, and today the village is still definitely worth a visit.’
    • ‘The furthest north I've been in this country is Cooktown.’
    • ‘Since Friday they have shared a hotel to the north of London with another football side - Brazil.’
    • ‘We'd both dreamed of opening a dive school, so we moved a few hours north to a fishing village called Terrigal, on the Central Coast, and opened a little dive school on the beach.’
    • ‘I did a quick assessment of the surrounding terrain and decided to head out towards a clump of rocks to the north of the house.’
    • ‘East Dunbartonshire, to the north of Glasgow, is another region where aspirant parents try to send their children to top-performing state schools.’
    • ‘But I do think that the further north you go from Marco Island, the less likely there's going to be major damage.’
    • ‘Your observing site should have a low horizon just to the north of due east.’
    • ‘Wallis is an island of 23 square miles to the north of Fiji and west of Tonga and Samoa.’
    • ‘To the north of the site is Lynn Medical Centre and directly opposite the site are the grounds of Ashford Castle.’
    1. 1.1 The compass point corresponding to north.
      ‘he drew a circle and marked north, south, east, and west’
      • ‘The 4 principal directions shown on a compass - north, south, east, west - are known as Cardinal Points.’
    2. 1.2 A direction in space parallel to the earth's axis of rotation and toward the point on the celestial sphere around which the stars appear to turn counterclockwise.
      • ‘Look for it low in the southwest, half an hour after sunset; tonight it will appear just north of a very slender crescent Moon.’
      • ‘The planet passes Spica at midmonth, moving four degrees north of the star on the 16th.’
      • ‘The view focused on the star in the north and enlarged it to show the city, which was a relatively large metropolis.’
  • 2The northern part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town.

    ‘cuisine from the north of Spain’
    ‘limber pine in the central Rockies, and whitebark pine and alpine larch in the north’
    • ‘By all accounts, the country's best players are to be found in the autonomous Kurdish region in the north.’
    • ‘Summers are long and warm, clouds are held back by the forest, and, in the north of the region in particular, rainfall is light.’
    • ‘He said a referendum, due to be held next year asking voters if they want an elected government in the north, was the region's greatest opportunity for change.’
    • ‘Derby is a small town perched on the red edge of the vast Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia.’
    • ‘But in the north, in the region knows as Maket, the farmers have found a way to feed their families, and make some money, too.’
    • ‘I heard a few years ago that one town in the north had succeeded in getting rid of too many birds in town by playing piped music to them.’
    • ‘Mitchells Transport trucks cattle from all over the west, including the Kimberley region in the north.’
    • ‘The plan also proposes upgrading of the existing inner ring road and the construction of a new road around the north of the town.’
    • ‘We are not being given the money we should be getting, in order to bail out other towns in the north.’
    • ‘The Kurds want to maintain their autonomous region in the north.’
    • ‘The gorge cuts south from Russian-occupied regions in the north to rebel-controlled territories in the mountains.’
    • ‘With the new developments in the north of the town, the shortage may have increased.’
    • ‘The new list has been drawn up by the Halifax, Britain's biggest mortgage lender, and is dominated by towns in the north.’
    • ‘For those who like country music there is a large event each year in the north of the town.’
    • ‘Also rallies, particularly in towns in the north, are important.’
    • ‘His total assets then represented a beat-up van and a few boxes of cheap trainers, which he sold to small, independent sports shops in towns across the north of England.’
    • ‘He could have returned to the safety of his own region in the north.’
    • ‘Southampton's network of medieval vaults are hidden below the streets and houses of the old town, stretching from Bargate in the north to Town Quay.’
    • ‘The few towns of the north were poor and lacking in people, and were soon destroyed and eaten; most inhabitants fled in terror.’
    • ‘Swindon Council's plan is to bypass the works by diverting motorists entering from the north of the town along Groundwell Road and up Victoria Road.’
    1. 2.1usually the North The northern part of the US, especially the northeastern states that fought to preserve the Union during the Civil War.
      ‘delegates from Virginia voted to join the North’
  • 3Bridge
    as name The player occupying a designated position at the table, sitting opposite and partnering South.


  • 1Lying toward, near, or facing the north.

    ‘the north bank of the river’
    ‘the north door’
    • ‘I stood up and went to the north window looking towards the mountains of my birth.’
    • ‘She turned another corner, heading towards the north end of the castle.’
    • ‘Lot N is situated near the north campus entrance, just off Columbia.’
    • ‘There looked to be some activity near the north end of the city.’
    • ‘I started near the north pond where a couple black-winged stilts came flying out of the reeds.’
    • ‘Near the north end of the lake and just 30 minutes up from the city of Vernon sits Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre.’
    • ‘The deal will give local native groups a stake in the pipeline which is part of a project to tap huge natural gas deposits in the Mackenzie Delta near the north coast of Alaska.’
    • ‘Sam and David continued down the middle road, towards the north wing.’
    • ‘This was mostly done over or near the north end of the Salton Sea.’
    • ‘Zoe and I turned around and started running towards the north entrance.’
    • ‘I kept the boat going full power for a minute, and then slowed as I began to near the north shore.’
    • ‘Snow cornices lie deep into the early summer and, on a clear day, the views north to the Glen Shiel hills and beyond display a jumble of hills and mountains that seem to roll on indefinitely.’
    • ‘We spotted Sasha and Mariah, talking about something or other near the north wall, and we promptly went to join them.’
    • ‘The highway wound up one steep shoulder of the valley and then beyond Mavis Bank through the highlands toward the north coast.’
    • ‘To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river.’
    • ‘Hood Canal is hundreds of feet deep in places, but a shallow sill near its north end restricts seawater exchange.’
    • ‘Construction will begin in and around the virtually empty fields of north campus in the near future.’
    • ‘It was a well watered ranch with two streams, one on the north end and another near the middle of the range.’
    • ‘The 2003 meeting will take place in Grande Synthe, near Dunkirk, on the north coast near the Belgian border.’
    • ‘The nearest public house was across the river on the north bank.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the north.
      • ‘Prehistoric settlers probably drifted here by accident, blown from the coast of France by the north wind, their descendants creating a rich Bronze Age culture.’
      • ‘The summers here are hot and dry, the winters colder than the coast, and the north wind blows hard in the spring.’
      • ‘They continued to wander hand in hand across the moors as the north wind swept by them.’
      • ‘The stately crane, one of the 200 or so remaining in the wild, slowly beat against the north wind, moving up the narrow strip of land.’
      • ‘Right after she finished saying that, a strong gust of north wind blew through the window.’
      • ‘Fragrant southern breezes blow down from the mountain tops, and north winds, dampened by the lake, are cool.’
      • ‘As I walked out of the car an era later, I let the cold north wind bash against me for a moment.’
      • ‘When the north wind blows, we suffer with the whole of Southern China.’
      • ‘And with the north winds still blowing strong, the worst is clearly not over.’
      • ‘Lightning strikes, arsonists and relentless hot north winds yesterday fanned bush fires across Australia's most populous state.’
      • ‘Imagine snuggling up in front of your own log fire while outside the north wind blows a bitter warning of frosty times ahead.’
      • ‘Some, however, climbed the low hill that sheltered the village slightly from a north wind.’
      • ‘Again the course was in good shape being dried out by the north winds.’
      • ‘A clear sky with brilliant sunshine boded well but a bitter north wind was blowing as I got out of the car.’
      • ‘Later we do see the clouds moving from the north, but never experience a north wind.’
      • ‘The north wind tried to blow it off, but that only made the man clutch his cloak around himself more tightly.’
      • ‘It was a cold night for October, single digit temperatures with a wicked north wind blowing in, reminding the unwary that it wasn't too soon for a blast of early snow.’
      • ‘A north wind whipped through the tall grass and he shivered, pulling his blanket closer about himself.’
      • ‘By contrast, freshwater holes and streams are generally considered cooling for the body and the light breeze of the north wind is said to strengthen it.’
      • ‘I think it's the old story of sunshine versus the north wind.’
      northern, northerly, northwardly, arctic, polar
      View synonyms
  • 2Of or denoting the northern part of a specified area, city, or country or its inhabitants.

    ‘North African’
    • ‘Meanwhile, gardaí in Dublin are hoping to make more arrests following a daring raid on a pub in the north inner city in the early hours of yesterday morning.’
    • ‘The north Cork town played host to headliners such as Coolio, Kool and the Gang and recent chart-topper Eamon.’
    • ‘The figures were lower in the Trent region, which covers South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire, where there were 3,850 admissions.’
    • ‘At 11 pm on Saturday night, Mr White was parked at a taxi rank in Castlepollard, a small town just inside the north Westmeath border.’
    • ‘Drivers could say goodbye to free parking and face a squad of traffic wardens if blanket parking charges are imposed on every town in north Wiltshire.’
    • ‘I have a friend - let's call him M - who lives in a north Indian city.’
    • ‘This summer, we moved our musician son to Clarksdale, a small town in the north Mississippi Delta, famous for its blues lore.’
    • ‘A Garda helicopter combed the skies between north Roscommon and Sligo town after the thieves targeted Sligo and other towns.’
    • ‘They also took an oil painting valued at £2,000, and damaged an 18th century north African Islamic tapestry.’
    • ‘The couple then raised a loan on their Kentish Town house in north London for a similar amount and put this money into a second hedge fund.’
    • ‘In the north region, inspectors rescued 2,456 animals and collected a further 35,001 that were unwanted or abandoned.’
    • ‘A police operation to tackle alcohol-related crime in the town centres of north Kent is under way.’
    • ‘This gang, based in Dublin's north inner city, is also suspected of the organised theft of valuable computer equipment and microchips.’
    • ‘Devizes town councillors have agreed in principle to buy into a partnership that will provide a mobile skatepark to tour towns in Kennet and north Wiltshire.’
    • ‘A leading Manorhamilton community activist has called for another hotel in the thriving north Leitrim town.’
    • ‘The pub in Woodhill Road has been named the winner for the north region in three categories of the awards, organised by trade paper the Morning Advertiser.’
    • ‘Jeff Watson, director of the agency's north region, argued that increasing the proportion of energy from renewable sources was hugely important.’
    • ‘Hundreds of supporters lined the streets of the north Leitrim town of Manorhamilton to welcome the Olympic flame to Ireland.’
    • ‘Leading writer John McGahern officially opened the 35th annual writers' festival in the north Kerry town.’
    • ‘Large crowds, meanwhile, were gathering in the north Kerry town last night for the country's premier traditional music celebration.’


  • 1To or toward the north.

    ‘the landscape became more dramatic as we drove north’
    ‘my window faced north’
    • ‘The route starts about halfway down the west shore of the lake at the Red Nab car park and heads north, hugging the shoreline for about one mile before coming to grassy open fields.’
    • ‘The team compensated by driving several hours north to Sheep Mountain, near Glenallen, on the weekends to train.’
    • ‘As we drove north I passed through a landscape that revealed much of its remarkable past.’
    • ‘The route is liable to change - it goes out of London via Epping Forest, then heads north towards Sudbury, before wheeling east across Suffolk.’
    • ‘Wyoming 193, just north of Buffalo, leads north to the visitor's center at Fort Kearny.’
    • ‘This legislation could have been passed, and that would have ensured that a road was being constructed as people drove north this Christmas.’
    • ‘California is the latest in a string of several states in the past year to send delegations north to investigate Canada's Internet pharmacies.’
    • ‘As I drive north that night, the moon lights a fantastic landscape of crumbling ridges and twisting canyons.’
    • ‘We drove up 6 hours north along the coast, to stay with my husband's parents.’
    • ‘Being so far north he says that his winter lasts 7 months and that he has 5 months to grow enough fodder for seven months' feeding.’
    • ‘The Bowery, a street in lower Manhattan, runs north for about a mile from Chatham Square to Cooper Square.’
    • ‘In his day he guided for the Texas Rangers and drove cattle north to the railheads.’
    • ‘Mr Wild said it was pitch black at night and she could see nothing, but heard one of the vehicles being driven north and then, a short time later, heard someone come back.’
    • ‘Mr Paton said many whales had been sighted so far during this year's annual migration of the whales north from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef.’
    • ‘I started in Beadlam and followed north a narrow shallow wooded valley called Howldale Lane with, either side, fields and abandoned mini quarries.’
    • ‘As the No 17 noses north, however, the vista changes rapidly.’
    • ‘The driver flips on flashing lights, plugs in a bootleg tape of an Asian girl singing Cyndi Lauper songs, and flies north out of Mogaung.’
    to the north, northward, northwards, northwardly
    View synonyms
  • 2north ofAbove (a particular amount, cost, etc.)

    ‘they expect to spend north of $6 million for this latest campaign’


  • north by east (or west)

    • Between north and north-northeast (or north-northwest).

  • up north

    • informal To or in the north of a country.

      ‘he's taken a teaching job up north’
      • ‘The Principal will be cutting his break short and driving back from way up north to attend these proceedings.’
      • ‘As with most holidays, our trip up north was brilliant simply because it was just that - a holiday.’
      • ‘There is a go-karting track at Island Grounds, near the War Memorial if you come further up north.’
      • ‘Several of their sons made their way up north and found jobs on pastoral stations or at some of the mining towns.’
      • ‘Kid's TV really only begins next week once the schools up north go on holiday.’
      • ‘It's not been grim up north since they did away with industry in 1984.’
      • ‘The latest in London health and beauty treatments comes up north with the opening of a new manicure parlour - with booze.’
      • ‘We were thinking about moving up north where houses are cheaper.’
      • ‘Over the next few days he will travel up north to drum up support among music fans in Donegal, Cavan and Roscommon.’
      • ‘She moved from up north to Florida on word of mouth about all the jobs available.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch noord and German nord.