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Northwest Passage

noun
  1. a ship route along the Arctic coast of Canada and Alaska, joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
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Origin of Northwest Passage

First recorded in 1545–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for northwest passage

Northwest Passage

noun
  1. the passage by sea from the Atlantic to the Pacific along the N coast of America: attempted for over 300 years by Europeans seeking a short route to the Far East, before being successfully navigated by Amundsen (1903–06)
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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

northwest passage in Culture

Northwest Passage

A sea route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through northwestern America, often sought by early explorers. There is an actual Northwest Passage, but it requires sailing through far northern waters that are icebound much of the year.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.