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  1. toward the wind; toward the point from which the wind blows.
  1. pertaining to, situated in, or moving toward the quarter from which the wind blows (opposed to leeward).
  1. the point or quarter from which the wind blows.
  2. the side toward the wind.
  1. to windward, in a position of vantage: We got to windward of the difficulty.Also to the windward.

Origin of windward

First recorded in 1540–50; wind1 + -ward
Related formswind·ward·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for to windward


  1. of, in, or moving to the quarter from which the wind blows
  2. to windward of advantageously situated with respect to
  1. the windward point
  2. the side towards the wind
  1. towards the wind
Compare leeward
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 to windward


1540s, from wind (n.) + -ward.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with to windward

to windward

Toward an advantageous position, as in We were hoping to get to windward of the situation. This expression transfers the nautical meaning of the phrase, “move in the direction from which the wind blows,” to other kinds of undertaking. Its figurative use dates from the late 1700s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.