Definition of meridional in English:


Pronunciation /məˈridēənəl/ /məˈrɪdiənəl/


  • 1Of or in the south; southern.

    ‘the meridional leg of the journey’
    • ‘The presence of ice sheets, together with the development of sea ice in the polar oceans, also resulted in an increase in meridional (north - south) temperature gradients.’
    • ‘Most European pre-Quaternary localities are positioned in a restricted latitudinal band, requiring dense and well-dated temporal and spatial records for meridional patterns to be detected.’
    southern, southerly, southwardly, meridional, Antarctic, polar
    1. 1.1Relating to or characteristic of the inhabitants of southern Europe, especially the South of France.
      ‘she was meridional in temperament’
      • ‘However, the zweite Frühstück (second breakfast) eaten in various German-speaking regions is an important northerly counterpart of this meridional institution.’
  • 2Relating to a meridian.

    ‘the meridional line of demarcation’
    • ‘In the pre-equatorial zone, cells were densely packed, whereas in the equatorial zone, the cells were arranged in the form of distinct meridional rows.’
    • ‘The axial intensity distribution was calculated by integrating the region from 0.013 nm - 1 on either side of the meridional axis of the x-ray pattern.’
    • ‘Between the regions contacting leaf primordia, the peripheral zone cells are curved predominantly in the meridional direction.’
    • ‘The meridional and circular muscles antagonize the radial muscles.’
    • ‘Both regions are muscular, covered with a dense sheet of radial muscles and rings of circular and meridional muscles.’
    1. 2.1Meteorology (of winds and air flow) aligned with lines of longitude.
      ‘the spinning of a planet on its axis deflects the meridional winds sideways’
      • ‘The first, known as the meridional flow pattern, circulates between the sun's equator and its poles over a period of 17 to 22 years and acts like a conveyor belt of sunspots.’
      • ‘This juxtaposition of high-pressure and low-pressure systems in similar latitudes causes much more meridional airflow than is normally experienced in similar latitudes in the southern hemisphere.’
      • ‘The timing of deglaciation shows a close correspondence to increased meridional overturning of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and attendant warming of the North Atlantic Ocean immediately after the last glacial maximum.’
      • ‘The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation carries warm upper waters into far-northern latitudes and returns cold deep waters southward across the Equator.’
      • ‘The vigor of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation is thought to be vulnerable to global warming.’


  • A native or inhabitant of the south, especially the south of France.


Late Middle English via Old French from late Latin meridionalis, formed irregularly from Latin meridies ‘midday, south’.