Definition of westerly in English:


adverb & adjective

  • 1In a westward position or direction.

    [as adjective] ‘he stumbled slowly along in a westerly direction’
    [as adjective] ‘the westerly end of Sunset Boulevard’
    [as adverb] ‘our plan was to keep westerly’
    1. 1.1(of a wind) blowing from the west.
      [as adjective] ‘a stiff westerly breeze’


  • 1A wind blowing from the west.

    ‘high ground and prevailing westerlies give a lot of rainfall’
    • ‘Rough seas and 20-knot westerly winds made the task of moving the female whale into deeper waters impossible.’
    • ‘One of the unusual things about this particular storm was that it was a southerly gale and not one of the usual westerlies that tend to affect the south of Britain.’
    • ‘The powerful westerly that blew down from the, icy summits of British Columbia's Coast Mountains in the middle of the night threatened to send our tent and everything in it into Shack Lake.’
    • ‘The prevailing westerly will make itself known a little after lunch, and often picks up as the afternoon progresses until it's quite strong by about sunset.’
    • ‘Big black gnats had been brought out by the sunshine and held their place in a stiff westerly by congregating behind a windbreak hedge of double thickness, thorn one side and elder the other.’
    • ‘Ships of the 16th and 17th centuries entering the Pacific from Cape Horn would not attempt to sail into these westerly winds.’
    • ‘However, there was no sign of desperately needed rain and a westerly roared in from Australia's arid outback, fanning flames and scattering red hot embers to start new blazes.’
    • ‘The wines produced on the flat coastal littoral are strongly influenced by prevailing Atlantic westerlies.’
    • ‘Coming from the sea, it brings dampness with it: when the waves make a noise as they break, you know it's a westerly.’
    • ‘Research showed that the prevailing westerly would blow the pollution out from the city to the Hauraki Gulf and the sea breeze would bring it back again, so for one to three days it would build up until a sou'wester blew it away again.’
    • ‘And the whole idea is that we're going to be traversing the city on a kind of low-down northerly and an upper westerly, so then the balloonists just choose the height that they fly to steer it.’
    • ‘It will become cloudy along the coast in the afternoon where the wind will be moderate to fresh westerly.’
    • ‘One of Sydney's famous westerlies had blown the roof off another house he lived in.’
    1. 1.1The belt of prevailing westerly winds in medium latitudes in the southern hemisphere.
      ‘icebergs tend to follow recognized paths eastward and north through the westerlies’
      • ‘Temperate zones, such as Europe, get more of their rain in the winter from the effect of low-pressure zones coming in from the Atlantic driven by the prevailing westerlies.’
      • ‘The prime conditions for heavy snowfall in the Australian Alps are persistent strong westerlies through the winter, which produce abundant precipitation and are generally accompanied by relatively low temperatures.’
      • ‘It adds a northerly component to our prevailing westerlies: i.e. more nor'westers, bringing drought to the east and floods to the west.’
      • ‘Here in Southern California we're accustomed to summer westerlies and northwesterlies that kick in about noon and may work up to about 20 knots.’
      • ‘The combination of the deepening trough and the strengthening downstream ridge allows the bottom portion of the trough to separate from the main belt of the westerlies.’
      • ‘The prevailing winds are strong westerlies, generally good news, but it's important to remember you do have to come back.’
      • ‘Elsewhere westerlies are dominant and they reach a peak in jet streams where wind speeds of 200 to 300 km/h are not uncommon.’
      • ‘Seasonal variations are slight, though wet and stormy conditions with strong westerlies occur from December to February.’
      • ‘The jet streams, the trade winds, westerlies, polar easterlies and other global and local winds all help to give the planet distinct zones, from polar or temperate to Mediterranean or tropical.’
      • ‘At the mid-latitudes, the winds are called the westerlies, and at the highest latitudes, the winds are called the polar easterlies.’
      • ‘In the upper atmosphere during this season, westerlies dominate in the upper troposphere over most of the monsoon region.’
      • ‘There is a northerly with us this weekend, then westerlies will come across bringing some rain.’


Late 15th century: from obsolete wester ‘western’+ -ly.