Definition of northwest in US English:



  • 1The point of the horizon midway between north and west.

    ‘he pointed to the northwest’
    • ‘This year sees the concluding instalment of the 1901 census returns for Annagh Parish, and it features townlands to the south, west and north-west of the town.’
    • ‘There, they roam the coastline throughout the archipelago, from the Big Island in the south to Midway and Kure 1200 miles to the north-west.’
    • ‘To the north-west lie the Malacca Straits, five hundred miles of international water, bordered by Malaysia to the north and Indonesia to the south, which are barely policed.’
    • ‘The rain restarts and since the eye of the hurricane is moving away toward the north-west, the circulating wind now blows from the south-west.’
    • ‘It is bounded on the west by Poland, on the north-west by Latvia and Lithuania, on the north and east by Russia, and on the south by Ukraine.’
    • ‘During that morning, however, something unusual was happening in the skies to the west and north-west of Ballyhaunis.’
    • ‘Born in 1947 in the region of Tver, north-west of Moscow, Romanov's family moved to the then Soviet republic of Lithuania at the age of nine.’
    • ‘A thousand miles north-west of the capital Buenos Aires, in the crisp blue air of the high desert, lies the wine-growing region of Mendoza.’
    • ‘Residents to the north-west of the town last autumn found themselves in the front line when the nearby Ea Beck threatened to burst its banks and swamp their homes.’
    • ‘As a result, an area north-west of the town, known as Brickfields because its marshy ground was ideal for making bricks, was identified as a suitable site to relocate the market.’
    • ‘The first incidents broke out in March 1968 in Nanterre, a new university created in 1963 in the middle of a shanty town to the north-west of Paris in order to ease the pressure on the old Sorbonne.’
    • ‘Between the two world wars, an exciting future seemed to be represented by London's growth to the west and north-west.’
    • ‘Less than 50 square miles in area, this British colony lies 1,700 miles north-west of Cape Town, and has a population of about 5,000.’
    • ‘Paul Hiller owns land north-west of Jubilee Cottages and has agreed to give 10 acres to the council if he can build a country house on the other 10.’
    • ‘The Allies needed to control the West and East Scheldt - areas of sea to the north-west of Antwerp.’
    • ‘Finlay Martin is a retired farmer in Ardlethan, a very small town north-west of Wagga in New South Wales.’
    • ‘In Gaul, the centre of political gravity and the exchange networks were definitely oriented towards the north-west.’
    • ‘In the end, the Italian Space Agency announced that the satellite had landed approximately 300 km north-west of the Galapagos Islands.’
    • ‘His old school, in the town of Bo'ness (some 20 miles north-west of Edinburgh) had recently been closed down and replaced by one of the first PFI schools in Scotland.’
    • ‘The best diving is around the small islets and rocks to the west and north-west.’
    1. 1.1 The compass point corresponding to northwest.
    2. 1.2 The direction in which northwest lies.
  • 2The northwestern part of a country, region, or town.

    ‘they had originally come from someplace in the northwest of Mexico’
    • ‘As a former United midfielder and a native of the north-west, Phelan is steeped in the traditions of Old Trafford and provides a useful link with the first of Ferguson's trophy-winning teams.’
    • ‘Most electrical damage was caused in Clare, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford and parts of Wicklow and Kilkenny, but parts of the north-west were also hit hard.’
    • ‘The state appears to have been dramatically rescued from rolling blackouts as a federal agency in the north-west responded to desperate pleas for help and sent electricity from massive hydropower dams flowing south.’
    • ‘Angus breeding is practiced to a large extent in the west and north-west, where its qualities of hardiness and ability to thrive under less favourable grazing conditions are well recognised.’
    • ‘The Welshmen had brought this game to Wrexham to strengthen new links in the north-west of the country, and they were rewarded with a crowd of 5,060, more than the Wrexham football team had drawn the previous night.’
    • ‘Peninsular Malaysia has three main ports: Penang in the north-west, Kelang in the middle of the west coast, and Johore on the southern tip of the peninsula across from Singapore.’
    • ‘Union membership and strike activity are slightly higher than the national average, but not any higher compared to regions like the north-west of England or Yorkshire.’
    • ‘The Castle Gallery in Castle St. has an interesting and varied selection of exhibits in a wide range of media formats and concentrates solely on artists resident in the north-west.’
    • ‘In the Highlands, a Northern Constabulary spokesman said motorists in the region and the north-west of the country should avoid using the roads during the earlier part of the week.’
    • ‘These will effectively double the DAB coverage and bring benefit to large numbers of people in the north-west and west of Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘The protest followed a 24-hour strike on June 27 by thousands of workers in the Pilbara mining region in the north-west of the state.’
    • ‘A cancer atlas of Ireland and Britain, published today, also shows a high rate of cancer of the lip and mouth in the west and north-west possibly linked to fishing and farming.’
    • ‘Barolo, produced in Piedmont, in the north-west of Italy, is generally regarded as the country's top wine: it is concentrated, complex and long-lived.’
    • ‘Umbrellas were of little help in providing shelter from the storms yesterday as winds of up to 90 mph left 3,000 homes in the west and north-west without power supply for several hours.’
    • ‘A deepening Atlantic depression is now moving towards north-west Scotland as expected, bringing frontal systems up against the cold air over the country.’
    • ‘A second scenario would see development take place primarily in the north-west of the town, in and around Millennium Park.’
    • ‘A former executive at Gala, the gaming group, is vying to buy Buckingham Bingo, a bingo-hall operator in the north-west, for more than £90m.’
    • ‘She moved towards Wales and the north-west to collect support, with Edward marching from Windsor to intercept her.’
    • ‘Tonight's talk is about one of Ireland's special geographic regions the Burren region in the north-west of Clare.’
    • ‘From 1953 he was assistant to the managing editor, serving as media organiser for the Perth Commonwealth Games and for early tours to the promising mineral regions of the north-west.’
    • ‘Professor John Ashton, regional director of public health in the north-west for more than a decade, believes Mancunians are not the only people with bad eating habits.’


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

    ‘the northwest corner of the square’
    • ‘Eventually I arrive at the sculpture at the north-west corner of the square.’
    • ‘We had barely started to empty it, when, in the north-west corner, archaeologist Mike House uncovered a large copper alloy bowl lying upside-down against the edge.’
    • ‘At the extreme north-west corner of Ngargo Island, near a massive bomb-scar in the rocky cliff, lies a very curious wreck.’
    • ‘The four-storey L-shaped block will have an additional two floors in the north-west corner to accommodate two three-bedroom apartments and parking for 47 cars.’
    • ‘Among the completed projects is a new residential block on the north-west corner of the site, at the intersection of two canals.’
    • ‘Here are backstage rooms for the theatre ending in a corner green-room, and a loading dock for scenery is accommodated as discreetly as possible in the north-west corner.’
    • ‘Yes, you are quite right, there is a land claim on this area but it affects only the north-west corner of the garden.’
    • ‘On the north-west corner of 44th on Broadway stood the Hotel Astor, a favourite meeting place both for scribes from the daily blats and for hoods, both before and after Prohibition.’
    • ‘On the north-west corner is a house designed by A. H. Mackmurdo.’
    • ‘In February 1971, a fire broke out in the north-west tower near the bell chamber when a tarpaulin caught alight and another fire the following year destroyed pinnacles and woodwork in the choir stalls.’
    • ‘From the large car park on the north-west side of Loch Laggan, head along the path towards the corrie which skirts Aberarder Farm.’
    • ‘The wood-burning crematorium was built in 1918, and it still stands in the north-west corner of the cemetery.’
    • ‘The US Federal Aviation Administration said that the plane slid off the runway at the north-west corner of the airport, through the boundary fence and into the road.’
    • ‘These premises stood in what is now the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square.’
    • ‘It worked, and the island of Penang (off the north-west coast of Malaysia) became the British East India Company's first trading outpost in the Far East.’
    • ‘In sailing ship days, you would have arrived in Mauritius - or the Ile Maurice, as the French still prefer to call it - at the island's capital, Port Louis, on the north-west coast.’
    • ‘The other public entrance is on the north-west corner of the compound.’
    • ‘Additional land is being acquired from Lismore City Bowling Club and Spinks Park to accommodate a separately enclosed children's pool, in the north-west corner of the site.’
    • ‘Sundial maker Malcolm Barnfield and stonemason Dave Baguley installed the beautiful stone sundial at the top north-west corner of The Wilds, on Sunday, 8 May.’
    • ‘The historic heart of the city is centrally situated on the north-west axis, and towards the eastern border.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the northwest.
      • ‘Irish naval service Commander Gerard O'Flynn said yesterday that north-west gales, which had been rocking the vessel to and fro, had eased.’
      • ‘October to April brings the more humid north-west monsoon, and November to February often sees monsoon rain.’
      • ‘Markle certainly has its devotees, and a good few hardy souls were around last weekend, despite a biting north-west wind and cloudless sky combining to ensure that the temperature plummeted.’
      • ‘There is little shelter here from the north-west wind and the sea it produces.’
      • ‘Blown in on the north-west monsoon without aid of any chart or astronomical observation, a thousand mariners, tide-driven, converge on the coral reefs.’
      • ‘It is exposed to south and north-west winds, and the weather and sea conditions have to be just right to dive it safely.’
      • ‘The moisture which currently sustains the rainforest is mainly provided by north-west winds, the efficacy of which would have been reduced as they traversed land rather than water.’
      • ‘He said temperatures might get up to 18C tomorrow and Thursday, but things would feel cooler again by the weekend with more north and north-west winds.’
      • ‘The Red Sea has a prevailing north-west wind, which means that this coastline is exposed, rather than sheltered like the inshore reefs of Egypt.’
      • ‘There is a suspicion that left-handers like Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir will have an advantage playing into the north-west wind over the testing final nine holes.’
      • ‘It began with a strong north-west wind, about the worst direction you can get at Kilkee, but a long, shallow reef protects the entrance of the bay and as the tide went down the area behind the reef became sheltered enough for a shore dive.’
  • 2Of or denoting the northwestern part of a country, region, or town, or its inhabitants.

    ‘northwest Europe’
    • ‘Ocean FM was launched last week in the north-west region, replacing North West Radio, which lost its licence after broadcasting for more than a decade.’
    • ‘Many people believe that this must be a local variety, for it certainly tastes nothing like the Torrontes grape from the Galicia region of north-west Spain.’
    • ‘We've extended that to what we call north-west New South Wales, which is about a quarter of the State, and we hope to be in a position in a few months' time to start thinking about spreading that nationally.’
    • ‘We are building new schools in north-west Auckland and south-east Auckland, where there are likely to be 40,000 extra people over the next 8 or 9 years.’
    • ‘It breeds in high latitudes from Scandinavia, across northern Russia and again in north-west Canada and Alaska.’
    • ‘The launch of this radio network in October 2001 was an historic event for Aboriginal people living in the north-west region of Central Australia.’
    • ‘McMaster said about 80% of primary schools in the north-west region don't have facilities for physical education.’
    • ‘A ‘dinosaur freeway’ has been discovered that stretches from north-east New Mexico to north-west Colorado.’
    • ‘In the longer term, Clane would be the gateway town for north-west Kildare, providing shopping facilities for people in that part of the county.’
    • ‘Presenting the city and the north-west region in a positive but unbiased way is important to McCrossan.’
    • ‘A preliminary example from north-west New Britain in the Pacific region will illustrate the problems in applying purely linguistic criteria in deciding what counts as a language or dialect.’
    • ‘For three generations, Geoff King's family has been farming cattle in north-west Tasmania, near Marrawah, just north of the Arthur River.’
    • ‘From 1932 to 1964 Graves lived in or near Seattle, then moved to Loleta in north-west California.’
    • ‘The province of Gansu in the north-west region is the principal centre of earthquakes in China, where major earthquakes take place on an average of once every 65 years.’
    • ‘I moved to Surbiton from north-west London towards the end of 2001.’
    • ‘It will also contribute to the economic and social regeneration of Mayo and the north-west region and to sustainable development of the area.’
    • ‘This weekend, the ‘black tide’ of oil spilled by the Prestige last week before it was towed out to sea was still soiling a 240-mile stretch of coast in the north-west Galicia region.’
    • ‘The fire also impacted on peak hour traffic, as traffic lights across the north-west suburbs were not functioning.’
    • ‘‘In one twelve-hour period yesterday, for example, there were three incidents involving motorcycle crime in north-west Swindon,’ he said.’
    • ‘Others winter in north-west France, northern Spain and Portugal to the Balearics.’


  • To or toward the northwest.

    ‘he turned onto the highway and headed northwest’
    • ‘They, at the advice of the old man, went north-west, toward larger cities and a greater chance of finding rumor of their enemy.’
    • ‘With our backs to the chilling wind whistling in from Damascus, we ski north-west, towards Tripoli.’
    • ‘Heading north-west towards Stewartby, homeowners were warned to shut their windows as the fire raged under ground on Wednesday.’
    • ‘The farmers moved with their new technologies north-west into Europe, probably displacing the local hunter-gatherer populations that were living there at the time.’
    • ‘The blue southern boundary runs between York and Malton and then heads north-west again to the top side of Northallerton.’
    • ‘The pilot tipped the nose down and gradually rose above the desert, heading north-west, towards Italy.’
    • ‘It is perched on the headland where Loch Awe divides, pushing a much smaller section north-west towards Loch Etive.’