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.

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