Definition of north in English:


Line breaks: north
Pronunciation: /nɔːθ


(usually the north)
  • 1The direction in which a compass needle normally points, towards the horizon on the left-hand side of a person facing east, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction: a bitter wind blew from the north Mount Kenya is to the north of Nairobi
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    • Your observing site should have a low horizon just to the north of due east.
    • Five armies in those spaces can be defended by up to seven units placed directly to the north of that line, yet only five units can attack from the south.
    • Since Friday they have shared a hotel to the north of London with another football side - Brazil.
  • 1.1The compass point corresponding to north: he drew a circle and marked north, south, east, and west
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    • The 4 principal directions shown on a compass - north, south, east, west - are known as Cardinal Points.
  • 1.2A direction in space parallel to the earth’s axis of rotation and towards the point on the celestial sphere around which the stars appear to turn anticlockwise.
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    • The view focused on the star in the north and enlarged it to show the city, which was a relatively large metropolis.
    • Look for it low in the southwest, half an hour after sunset; tonight it will appear just north of a very slender crescent Moon.
    • The planet passes Spica at midmonth, moving four degrees north of the star on the 16th.
  • 2The northern part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town: there will be heavy wintry showers, particularly in the north
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    • The gorge cuts south from Russian-occupied regions in the north to rebel-controlled territories in the mountains.
    • Also rallies, particularly in towns in the north, are important.
    • But in the north, in the region knows as Maket, the farmers have found a way to feed their families, and make some money, too.
  • 2.1 (usually the North) The northern part of England: he hired two lads from the North Cornishmen felt that the affairs of the North were too remote to interest them
  • 2.2 (usually the North) The NE states of the United States, especially those opposed to slavery during the Civil War: delegates from Virginia voted to join the North
  • 2.3 (usually the North) The industrialized and economically advanced nations of the world: the summit was likely to be a failure due to the North’s refusal to commit itself to safeguarding species diversity
  • 3 (North) [as name] Bridge The player occupying a designated position at the table, sitting opposite and partnering South: North deals and opens one club


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  • 1Lying towards, near, or facing the north: the north bank of the river the north door
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    • The nearest public house was across the river on the north bank.
    • The deal will give local native groups a stake in the pipeline which is part of a project to tap huge natural gas deposits in the Mackenzie Delta near the north coast of Alaska.
    • Lot N is situated near the north campus entrance, just off Columbia.
  • 1.1(Of a wind) blowing from the north: they were sheltering from the north winds
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    • Right after she finished saying that, a strong gust of north wind blew through the window.
    • By contrast, freshwater holes and streams are generally considered cooling for the body and the light breeze of the north wind is said to strengthen it.
    • When the north wind blows, we suffer with the whole of Southern China.
    northern, northerly, northwardly, Arctic, polar
    technical boreal
    literary hyperborean
    rare borean, hyperboreal
  • 2Of or denoting the northern part of a specified country, region, or town: North Wales North African
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    • At 11 pm on Saturday night, Mr White was parked at a taxi rank in Castlepollard, a small town just inside the north Westmeath border.
    • Large crowds, meanwhile, were gathering in the north Kerry town last night for the country's premier traditional music celebration.
    • This summer, we moved our musician son to Clarksdale, a small town in the north Mississippi Delta, famous for its blues lore.


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  • 1To or towards the north: the town is twenty-five miles north of Newport a north-facing wall
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    • Wyoming 193, just north of Buffalo, leads north to the visitor's center at Fort Kearny.
    • Mr Wild said it was pitch black at night and she could see nothing, but heard one of the vehicles being driven north and then, a short time later, heard someone come back.
    • As I drive north that night, the moon lights a fantastic landscape of crumbling ridges and twisting canyons.
  • 2 (north of) Above (a particular amount, cost, etc.): they expect to spend north of $6 million for this latest campaign


north by east (or west)

Between north and north-north-east (or north-north-west).

up north

informal To or in the north of a country: he’s taken a teaching job up north
More example sentences
  • Several of their sons made their way up north and found jobs on pastoral stations or at some of the mining towns.
  • She moved from up north to Florida on word of mouth about all the jobs available.
  • The latest in London health and beauty treatments comes up north with the opening of a new manicure parlour - with booze.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch noord and German nord.

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