Is there a single word for the direction towards the equator wherever you happen to be standing?

Suppose, you wanted to convey the following message:

If you are in the Southern hemisphere, orient yourself facing North; if you are in the Northern hemisphere, orient yourself facing South.

The message appears clumsy. Is there a single word that means "towards the equator"?

  • 2
    antipoleward is a word....in molecular biology. – ab2 Dec 24 '15 at 1:28
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    Anything wrong with "towards the equator"? – Hot Licks Dec 24 '15 at 1:49
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    "but it feels clumsy". Why? That's pretty common, or perhaps "orient yourself northward". – ralph.m Dec 24 '15 at 2:08
  • @ralph.m If you specify a single cardinal direction, it's only right for one half of the earth. :-) – kmort Dec 24 '15 at 3:49
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    Couldn't you just reword the whole sentence as "Face the equator."? – 200_success Dec 24 '15 at 7:26

There is the single word equatorward but it is mainly used in geographical context.

toward or near the equator

currents flowing equatorward, equatorward winds


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    Look at that. A real word that means exactly what I asked. Funny how my Googling didn't turn that one up. Thanks Ermanen! – kmort Dec 24 '15 at 3:48
  • Equatorbound I guess could work too. Does that need a hyphen? – Brad Apr 5 '16 at 18:22

In conventional speech, I think most fluent English speakers would say "towards the equator". If geographers or some other profession of a single word for this, I don't think it's in common use.


You can use "equator-facing".

Thus, your example may be simplified as follows:

Wherever you happen to be standing, stand equator-facing.

  • 1
    That's just a clumsier way of saying "facing the equator." – David Richerby Dec 24 '15 at 11:18

What about the word "adequatorial"? That is, "ad-" +"equatorial." Although "equatorward" is just the word for it, as everyone seems to agree, I have a personal distaste for a Latin word (or Greek, etc.) with an English suffix, i.e. "-ward." Purely an aesthetic issue for me. Does this seem like a usable word? I'm coining it, as far as I know.

protected by Andrew Leach Dec 24 '15 at 11:38

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