Definition of the North-west Passage from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the North-west Passage

; NAmE
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a sea route along the northern coast of the US between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. From the end of the 15th century, many explorers looking for an easy route to Asia tried to find the North-west Passage, including Sir Francis Drake and Captain Cook. But it was not until 1906 that the first journey through, taking three years, was made by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. The Canadian government claims the Northwest Passage as part of Canada, but the US government regards it as an international area of water. For various reasons, including the ice, very few ships have ever used it. see also Henry Hudson