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[lee-werd; Nautical loo-erd]
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  1. pertaining to, situated in, or moving toward the quarter toward which the wind blows (opposed to windward).
  1. the lee side; the point or quarter toward which the wind blows.
  1. toward the lee.

Origin of leeward

First recorded in 1540–50; lee1 + -ward
Related formslee·ward·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for leeward

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The gale must have set us a long way to leeward, as we did not get in for a fortnight.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • They were a good way off, and but a little to leeward, as the ship headed.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Then I heard the crash of the foremast as it went down to leeward.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • With the sea over one bow you must paddle on the leeward side.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • Oswald Bareth was the first who clambered up from to leeward.

British Dictionary definitions for leeward


  1. of, in, or moving to the quarter towards which the wind blows
  1. the point or quarter towards which the wind blows
  2. the side towards the lee
  1. towards the lee
Compare windward
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for leeward


1660s, "situated away from the wind," on the opposite of the weather side of the ship; from lee + -ward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper