a ship route along the Arctic coast of Canada and Alaska, joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Wacky Regionalisms: Different Word, Same MeaningRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of Northwest Passage
First recorded in 1545–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for northwest passage
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)
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
Culture definitions for 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.
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.