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west Syllabification: west

Definition of west in English:


(usually the west)
1The direction toward the point of the horizon where the sun sets at the equinoxes, on the left-hand side of a person facing north, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction: the evening sun glowed from the west a patrol aimed to create a diversion to the west of the city
More example sentences
  • Allithwaite, which lies to the west of Grange, north of Kents Bank, is also close to picturesque Humphrey Head, the tallest limestone cliff in Cumbria.
  • This beguiling little loch lies in the hills to the west of Ashkirk and north of Hawick, nestling between Belmanshaws and the Dod at a height of 320 metres.
  • Developers want to put up a series ultra-modern buildings directly to the west of the train station.
1.1The compass point corresponding to this.
Example sentences
  • Santa Fe sits at seven thousand feet, and the desert dust in the air produces sunset colors that fill the sky, not only in the west, but all around the compass.
  • It points to every direction on the compass, north, south, east and west… what more do you want.
  • Poets came from all points of the compass in Cumbria, north, south, east and west - and also from north Lancashire.
2The western part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town: it will become windy in the west
More example sentences
  • There had been outbreaks of measles that winter in the Midlands Health Board region and in the west of the country.
  • Much of her recent work focuses on landscape - in particular bog lands and rocky limestone regions of the west of Ireland.
  • He lives in Jenkins's favourite imaginary town in the west of Scotland, Lunderston, where he is the star player in the local golf club.
2.1 (usually the West) Europe and its culture seen in contrast to other civilizations.
2.2 (usually the West) historical The noncommunist states of Europe and North America, contrasted with the former communist states of eastern Europe.
Example sentences
  • They are in no mood to take lessons, moral or otherwise, from the west.
  • The monastic movement began in the Christian east, soon spreading to the west.
  • The following year he defected to the west.
Occident, Western nations
2.3 (usually the West) The western part of the US, especially the states west of the Mississippi.
Example sentences
  • As for operations in the west, Grant slipped south of Vicksburg and crossed to the east bank of the Mississippi river.
  • Haughton ultimately concludes that training and the failure to adapt essentially Napoleonic tactics to the tactical circumstances that pertained in the west doomed the Army of Tennessee to failure.
3 [as name] (West) Bridge The player sitting to the right of North and partnering East.
Example sentences
  • East and West have no more sevens or tens to play, so North has beaten off the attack.
  • West would follow with a higher card and East would then have played two trumps to West's one.


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1 [attributive] Lying toward, near, or facing the west: the west coast
More example sentences
  • Skies were clear over South Sligo and East Mayo as skeins of wild geese winged their way towards the west coast.
  • The plane, discovered off the west coast near Oban by Royal Navy minesweepers, is a world war two Catalina.
  • Those in search of ancient history veer more towards Paphos on the west coast to view the wonderful mosaics.
1.1(Of a wind) blowing from the west.
Example sentences
  • Although not actually showing the birth of Venus it shows her landing on the island of Cyprus, having been blown there by the west wind on a shell, waiting to meet her and cover her nakedness is one of her handmaidens.
  • A west wind blew stiff and steady all morning, so I never really warmed up.
  • A west wind blows biting flies out of the dunes and they build up at the water's edge.
2Of or denoting the western part of a specified area, city, or country or its inhabitants: West Africa
More example sentences
  • Located in the city's west Hongqiao area, the hotel is in a forest of several hundred camphors, pines and maidenhair trees - a green oasis in a metropolis.
  • ‘That growth,’ said city spokeswoman Sandy Webster, ‘will be absorbed in two areas - city centre and west Richmond’.
  • People living in this area of west Limerick remain concerned at the continued health difficulties experienced by people and animals.


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To or toward the west: he faced west and watched the sunset the accident happened a mile west of Bowes
More example sentences
  • Looking out over to the west this evening I watched the cloudscape lighting up in the distance, reflecting an electrical storm too far away to see.
  • That course shows a path moving to the west of the planned course until it is some 2 miles to the west and so heading straight for the Salmedina Bank.
  • The Liberian capital of Monrovia cradles the north Atlantic Ocean and aptly looks west towards the United States of America.


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German west, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hesperos, Latin vesper 'evening'.

  • All of the words for compass points are Old English. West can be traced back to an ancient root that also produced Latin vesper ‘evening’, also the source of the church service vespers (Late Middle English), the connection being that the sun sets in the west. Go west, meaning ‘be killed’, comes from the idea of the sun setting in the west at the end of the day, and became common during the First World War. The expression is also used more generally in the sense ‘be lost or broken’, and this is the meaning found in the American equivalent go south. The choice of a different compass point is possibly connected with the idea of something being on a downward trend, or perhaps go west sounded too positive, given the hopeful promise of the American West represented in the exhortation ‘Go west, young man! Go west!’, recorded from 1851. The lawless western frontier of the USA during the period when settlers were migrating from the inhabited east was known as the Wild West from the 1840s, and was the setting for Westerns featuring cowboys, Indians, and cattle rustlers from about 1910. See also twain

Words that rhyme with west

abreast, arrest, attest, beau geste, behest, bequest, best, blessed, blest, breast, Brest, Bucharest, Budapest, celeste, chest, contest, crest, digest, divest, guest, hest, infest, ingest, jest, lest, Midwest, molest, nest, northwest, pest, prestressed, protest, quest, rest, self-addressed, self-confessed, self-possessed, southwest, suggest, test, Trieste, unaddressed, unexpressed, unimpressed, unpressed, unstressed, vest, wrest, zest

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