Definition of northwest in US English:



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

    ‘he pointed to the northwest’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Finlay Martin is a retired farmer in Ardlethan, a very small town north-west of Wagga in New South Wales.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Gaul, the centre of political gravity and the exchange networks were definitely oriented towards the north-west.’
    • ‘The Allies needed to control the West and East Scheldt - areas of sea to the north-west of Antwerp.’
    • ‘The best diving is around the small islets and rocks to the west and north-west.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Between the two world wars, an exciting future seemed to be represented by London's growth to the west and north-west.’
    • ‘During that morning, however, something unusual was happening in the skies to the west and north-west of Ballyhaunis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the end, the Italian Space Agency announced that the satellite had landed approximately 300 km north-west of the Galapagos Islands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘A second scenario would see development take place primarily in the north-west of the town, in and around Millennium Park.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These will effectively double the DAB coverage and bring benefit to large numbers of people in the north-west and west of Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A deepening Atlantic depression is now moving towards north-west Scotland as expected, bringing frontal systems up against the cold air over the country.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tonight's talk is about one of Ireland's special geographic regions the Burren region in the north-west of Clare.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She moved towards Wales and the north-west to collect support, with Edward marching from Windsor to intercept her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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

    ‘the northwest corner of the square’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The other public entrance is on the north-west corner of the compound.’
    • ‘From the large car park on the north-west side of Loch Laggan, head along the path towards the corrie which skirts Aberarder Farm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These premises stood in what is now the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square.’
    • ‘Yes, you are quite right, there is a land claim on this area but it affects only the north-west corner of the garden.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the extreme north-west corner of Ngargo Island, near a massive bomb-scar in the rocky cliff, lies a very curious wreck.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the north-west corner is a house designed by A. H. Mackmurdo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The wood-burning crematorium was built in 1918, and it still stands in the north-west corner of the cemetery.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Eventually I arrive at the sculpture at the north-west corner of the square.’
    • ‘The historic heart of the city is centrally situated on the north-west axis, and towards the eastern border.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the northwest.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘October to April brings the more humid north-west monsoon, and November to February often sees monsoon rain.’
      • ‘It is exposed to south and north-west winds, and the weather and sea conditions have to be just right to dive it safely.’
      • ‘Irish naval service Commander Gerard O'Flynn said yesterday that north-west gales, which had been rocking the vessel to and fro, had eased.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2Of or denoting the northwestern part of a country, region, or town, or its inhabitants.

    ‘northwest Europe’
    • ‘It will also contribute to the economic and social regeneration of Mayo and the north-west region and to sustainable development of the area.’
    • ‘Others winter in north-west France, northern Spain and Portugal to the Balearics.’
    • ‘It breeds in high latitudes from Scandinavia, across northern Russia and again in north-west Canada and Alaska.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I moved to Surbiton from north-west London towards the end of 2001.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Presenting the city and the north-west region in a positive but unbiased way is important to McCrossan.’
    • ‘A ‘dinosaur freeway’ has been discovered that stretches from north-east New Mexico to north-west Colorado.’
    • ‘‘In one twelve-hour period yesterday, for example, there were three incidents involving motorcycle crime in north-west Swindon,’ he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘McMaster said about 80% of primary schools in the north-west region don't have facilities for physical education.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fire also impacted on peak hour traffic, as traffic lights across the north-west suburbs were not functioning.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From 1932 to 1964 Graves lived in or near Seattle, then moved to Loleta in north-west California.’
    • ‘For three generations, Geoff King's family has been farming cattle in north-west Tasmania, near Marrawah, just north of the Arthur River.’


  • To or toward the northwest.

    ‘he turned onto the highway and headed northwest’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Heading north-west towards Stewartby, homeowners were warned to shut their windows as the fire raged under ground on Wednesday.’
    • ‘It is perched on the headland where Loch Awe divides, pushing a much smaller section north-west towards Loch Etive.’
    • ‘The pilot tipped the nose down and gradually rose above the desert, heading north-west, towards Italy.’
    • ‘With our backs to the chilling wind whistling in from Damascus, we ski north-west, towards Tripoli.’
    • ‘They, at the advice of the old man, went north-west, toward larger cities and a greater chance of finding rumor of their enemy.’