Definition of northern in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈnôrT͟Hərn/


1 [attributive] Situated in the north, or directed toward or facing the north: the northern slopes northern Europe
More example sentences
  • It was situated towards the northern end of the forest, a mile or so from the outskirts of the town of Lariat.
  • My own experience with men on the street in northern India is direct.
  • The road was widened and a roundabout installed on the northern end to direct traffic down to Finisklin.
1.1(Of a wind) blowing from the north.
Example sentences
  • A slightly chilly northern breeze was blowing but Jo had seen it wise to bring a jacket with him.
  • I must have been shaking like a leaf in the northern wind for he took me tight in his arms, saying nothing.
  • The northern wind caused her hair to stream behind her, a black river flowing from the back of her head.
2Living in or originating from the north: northern breeds of cattle
More example sentences
  • It also persists most famously among that other northern breed, the Highland.
  • His few surviving works mark him as the most original northern sculptor since Claus Sluter.
  • Crucially they lacked the raw football bred into the county's northern teams.
2.1Relating to or characteristic of the north or its inhabitants: an unmistakable northern accent
More example sentences
  • Conor and Tiernan are intrigued to see Northern Ireland, or Norn Iron as they pronounce it, mimicking a northern accent.
  • She speaks with a northern accent and claimed her home was in Co Antrim.
  • I speak with a northern accent and sometimes even in dialect.


Old English northerne (see north, -ern).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: north·ern

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.