Definition of southward in US English:



  • In a southerly direction.

    ‘employment and people began a southward drift’
    • ‘There's a feeling that the city is ready to face up to these challenges and to halt the southward drift of its most energetic citizens.’
    • ‘Our diurnal observations suggested movement to abundant food sources and avoidance of hazardous local weather conditions, as well as southward migration, as a reason for movement.’
    • ‘For many centuries their competing drives for influence on a volatile frontier and the southward projection of Russian-based dynasties have troubled relations between the two countries.’
    • ‘The ice floes from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence that swept through the Strait of Canso every year were now blocked on their southward journey, and so they stayed to fill Saint George's Bay on the Causeway's north side.’
    • ‘The ecological barriers posed by the Alps, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sahara seem to prevent most long-distance migrants from flying on a direct southward course from Europe to Africa.’
    • ‘In NZ we might expect, for example, southward invasion by weeds presently limited by temperature.’
    • ‘In return, officials allowed us to take a southward route from the capital for a distance of about 180 kilometers on condition that we would not take photographs of farmers and farm villages.’
    • ‘As we are quick to tout the southward expansion of Anglicanism as evidence of its catholicity, we cannot reasonably expect that Africans and Asians will always march in lockstep with traditional Western theology.’
    • ‘In Arctic-nesting birds, such as geese, young have little time to complete their growth and acquire the fat reserves required for the southward migration.’
    • ‘Economists have discovered the renaissance in Manchester and other northern cities has reversed the traditional southward trend of the migrating workforce.’
    • ‘This increase is probably not solely the result of increased organizational effort, but may represent part of a larger-scale southward shift in the winter range of harp seals.’
    • ‘In 1993 a lead counterweight of about 660 tons was placed on the north side of the tower's base in order to stop the southward rotation.’
    • ‘Adult Western Sandpipers molt flight feathers following each southward migration, and then perform northward and southward migration on those feathers.’
    • ‘Despite equatorial air being ever present on the fringes of this anticyclonic area, there are many years in Namibia when southward incursions rarely, if ever, occur.’
    • ‘This terrace is carefully organized to provide welcoming porches on the northern side, and to give southward views of the dramatic landscape over the games field.’
    • ‘Jenkins argues that the southward expansion of Christianity in Africa and Latin America will have more profound consequences globally than the ongoing phenomenon of Islamism.’
    • ‘Ospreys on their southward journeys flew in widely spaced single file above the marsh, some flapping deeply, others soaring gull-like, with wings bowed.’
    • ‘The North Atlantic Drift is balanced by the southward transfer of cold water at depth, known as North Atlantic Deep Water, which forms as the saline surface water cools and sinks near Greenland.’
    • ‘Beginning in Early Miocene time, southward extrusion of the Greater Himalayan Slab has had a profound influence on the geological and geomorphological evolution of the Himalaya.’
    • ‘A general, well-known trend of North American migration is that birds fly in a northward direction in the spring and a southward direction in the fall.’


  • Toward the south.

    ‘he took a train that carried him southward’
    • ‘He was heading southwards and had acquired a firearm.’
    • ‘He drove along the M6 to the Scottish border then headed southwards.’
    • ‘There are plenty of council flats in long blocks, some old and some new but almost all with satellite dishes pointing southwards.’
    • ‘The streets are busy, with small groups heading steadily southwards towards the nightclub.’
    • ‘At the bottom end of Mesopotamia, the cradle of Western civilization, the Shatt takes in the water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and flows southward from Basra to the Persian Gulf.’
    • ‘The remainder of the clan had over the year migrated southwards towards the porcelain industry in Stourbridge.’
    • ‘The village sits at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet, in the middle of a mountain bowl that tilts southward, facing out over cliffs that plunge down to the banks of a river far below.’
    • ‘As long as the Germans held Caen, they denied access to the plain stretching southwards for just over 30 km.’
    • ‘However, traffic that does use the zone will move southwards, rather than northwards as at present, and there will be a 20 mph speed limit.’
    • ‘A blast of Arctic air, which will push southwards at the beginning of the week, is being blamed for the cold snap.’
    • ‘Looking southward I can see the fifteenth-century tower of the university's Saint Salvator's College chapel.’
    • ‘Better yet, take your U.S. dollars southward and enjoy the advantageous exchange rate.’
    • ‘The road to South Port was a long one however, stretching southwards for about 50 miles.’
    • ‘Ordinarily, cold, dense water in the extreme North Atlantic sinks to great depths and flows southward through the Atlantic.’
    • ‘The northern hemisphere has effectively eradicated itself in a nuclear war, and the fallout is creeping inexorably southwards.’
    • ‘Invasions from southern India, combined with internecine strife, pushed Sinhalese kingdoms southward.’
    • ‘It faces southwards away from the road, and its large, pretty garden is a real sun-trap that you could probably sit in on a fine winter's day.’
    • ‘Start the walk on the main village street and head southwards, in the opposite direction to the bridge over the River Tame.’
    • ‘Facing the other way at the mezzanine level, an office space, separated by a glass wall, looks southward onto the street.’
    • ‘The Euphrates River originates, like the Tigris, in the mountains of eastern Turkey; it then flows southward through Syria and Iraq before emptying into the Persian Gulf.’
    to the south, southward, southwards, southwardly
    View synonyms


the southward
  • The direction or region to the south.

    ‘cool air from the ocean to the southward’
    • ‘But until then, the best way to ride out a Toba eruption is to do so in a place a bit to the eastward, and a bit to the southward (just the other side of the equator).’