Definition of north in English:

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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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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


1Lying towards, near, or facing the north: the north bank of the river the north door
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.


1To or towards the north: the town is twenty-five miles north of Newport a north-facing wall
More example sentences
  • 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.
to the north, northward, northwards, northwardly
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.

Words that rhyme with north

forth, fourth, henceforth, thenceforth

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: north

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