north

Definitions

General English

  • adjective relating to the north
  • noun the direction to your left when you are facing the direction in which the sun rises

General Science

  • adjective situated in the north

Aviation

  • adjective referring to areas or regions lying in the north, referring to the compass point 360°
  • adjective the northern part of a region or country
  • adverb towards the north
  • noun compass point 360°, the direction towards which the magnetic needle points on a compass

Military

  • noun one of the four main points of the compass, corresponding to a bearing of 0 degrees or 0 mils
  • noun an area to the north of your location

Travel

  • noun one of the points of the compass, the direction to which a compass needle points

Origin & History of “north”

North is a general west and North Germanic word for ‘north’, represented also in German, Swedish, and Danish nord and Dutch noorden. It was also borrowed into French (from Old English) as nord, from where it spread into Italian and Romanian as nord and into Spanish as norte. It is not known for certain where it came from, but a link has been suggested with nertro-, a word for ‘left’ in the extinct Oscan-Umbrian languages of Italy, which might mean that the underlying meaning of north is ‘to the left as one faces the rising sun’ (modern Irish tuaisceart ‘north’ was based on a word meaning ‘left’).
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