Definition of windward in English:


adverb & adjective

  • Facing the wind or on the side facing the wind.

    [as adjective] ‘the windward side of the boat’
    Contrasted with leeward


  • [mass noun] The side or direction from which the wind is blowing.

    ‘he had beaten to windward across St Austell Bay’
    • ‘Four ships, including Dumanoirs Formidable sailed to windward of the British and exchanged shots with them as they passed, then sailed away from the battle.’
    • ‘Most importantly, in our ameliorated reading, the ship that is the Church is seen not wallowing passively before the onslaught of waves coming from windward and leeward.’
    • ‘Text messages needed to be sent and received before the next beat to windward, or in fact anything requiring two hands.’
    • ‘Many readers have written of their admiration for his remarkable ability to examine an aspect of history with penetrating perspective that acts as an anchor to windward in our own turbulent times.’
    • ‘If, like me, you have spent endless summer afternoons sweatily becalmed in Long Island Sound, there's a lot to be said for a rail-down bash to windward, especially after it's over.’
    • ‘The shroud base is very wide, restricts sheeting angles and will contribute to reduced performance to windward.’
    • ‘But in the time that sorting out that mess takes, Charlie, to windward, has gone past her.’
    • ‘Finally, the wind changed to blow westward, and Farash re-rigged the sail so they could tack at a good angle to windward, and the breeze soon propelled them once again upriver.’
    • ‘These ships were especially effective when sailing upwind or to windward.’
    • ‘It is probable that these ships would have been very slow and unable to make effective progress to windward.’
    • ‘Catamarans may not go to windward as well as monohulls, but the extra space and the sheer exhilaration of sailing fast - almost always on a reach - more than make up for it.’
    • ‘Remember that if there is a boat to windward of you, you have the same rights to force the boat over.’
    • ‘Bring the midship part of the boat to windward of him and give him an oar to grasp.’
    • ‘The water gained on the pumps but Athneal stuck with the vessel and slowly managed to beat to windward.’
    • ‘Finding that they had not been making sufficient way to windward, Nares ordered the sails reefed and steam power used instead.’
    • ‘With a mixed start for both multihull categories, the Nacras, sailing higher, created somewhat of a nuisance for the Hobies which they passed to windward.’
    • ‘By noon, Nicholson noted that his ship seemed to ‘greatly outsail’ the enemy and determined to utilize this advantage by moving to windward of the enemy.’
    • ‘Although she can sail to windward, it is generally quicker to row into head winds, or through crowded anchorages.’
    • ‘As the sail is shifted to windward of the vessel, it causes an imbalance of forces commonly known as ‘lee helm’, which is the tendency of the vessel to turn away from the wind.’
    • ‘The Chinese, with ships as large as the Portuguese carracks and much more efficient to windward, traded in growing strength throughout South-east Asia, and settled in the area in far greater numbers than Europeans.’


  • to windward of

    • dated In an advantageous position in relation to.

      ‘I happen to have got to windward of the young woman’
      • ‘But I'm not going to play the fool; honor bright, I'm not; yet - by Jove! - to get to windward of the professors and Mackenzie too!’