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adjective, adverb
  1. toward the south: a southerly course.
  2. (especially of a wind) coming from the south: a gentle southerly breeze.
noun, plural south·er·lies.
  1. a wind that blows from the south.

Origin of southerly

1545–55; south + -erly (see easterly)
Related formssouth·er·li·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for southerly

Historical Examples

  • Formerly rare, now abundant in all the southerly third of the Park.

    Wild Animals at Home

    Ernest Thompson Seton

  • Unexpected results had ensued from these trips in a southerly direction.

  • Southerly, in North latitude; the reverse in the Southern hemisphere.

  • They noted, however, that the party started in a southerly direction.

  • The adventurers had long passed the most southerly point of Spanish influence.

British Dictionary definitions for southerly


  1. of, relating to, or situated in the south
adverb, adjective
  1. towards or in the direction of the south
  2. from the southa southerly wind
noun plural -lies
  1. a wind from the south
Derived Formssoutherliness, noun
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 southerly

1550s (adj.); 1570s (adv.); from southern + -ly. Related: Southerliness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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