Definition of east in English:

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Pronunciation: /iːst/


(usually the east)
1The direction towards the point of the horizon where the sun rises at the equinoxes, on the right-hand side of a person facing north: a gale was blowing from the east the Atlantic Ocean to the east of Florida
More example sentences
  • To the east of the road rise the lower slopes of a mountain range dominated by no less than seven Munros, the highest group of hills in Britain south of Tayside.
  • From the patio where I work I have a view of the bay of Cassis and the beautiful cliffs that rise to the east of it.
  • You know, Mojave is north and to the east of Los Angeles.
1.1The compass point corresponding to east.
Example sentences
  • The prime meridian is the line that separates geographic east from west on the globe.
  • When that happens, the Sun is rising due east, setting due west, and daylight lasts as long as night.
2The eastern part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town: a factory in the east of the city
More example sentences
  • Plans to build 750 extra homes took a step forward after district councillors formally adopted a development brief for the east of the town.
  • The sun had started to show its tip upon the east of the town by the time the three had settled down to finally rest.
  • The reason for the council's new move is its bid to make Colchester the best looking town in the east of England.
2.1 (the East) The regions or countries lying to the east of Europe, especially China, Japan, and India: the protection of trade routes to the East
2.2 (the East) historical The former communist states of eastern Europe: the centrally planned system of the East
More example sentences
  • Finally, the material plenty of the West appeared in sharp contrast to the depravity of the East.
  • Hitler made it very clear that war in the East was to be like no other war fought by Germany.
3 (East) [as name] Bridge The player sitting to the left of North and partnering West: East passes and you respond one heart
More example sentences
  • West would follow with a higher card and East would then have played two trumps to West's one.


1Lying towards, near, or facing the east: the hospital’s east wing
More example sentences
  • Winds have pushed the east flank of the fire towards Big Bear Lake.
  • It was situated on the east bank where the river entered the great lake, Tallian.
  • I entered the United Methodist Church on the far east side of Alexandria.
1.1(Of a wind) blowing from the east: a biting east wind
More example sentences
  • Leaning against the rail, she let the east wind blow into her face.
  • Then there are winter days when the east wind blows, scouring the sky of clouds and freezing the dunes hard as marble.
  • In the past the water discoloured after three days of the east wind blowing.
2Of or denoting the eastern part of a specified region, town, or country: East Fife East African
More example sentences
  • In the summer we would head back to east Cork to the town of Castlemartyr, which was the home of Coláiste Ultáin where my father himself had been educated.
  • The Killarney electoral area, which takes in the town and rural east Kerry, is perhaps the most competitive in Kerry this time.
  • The first port of call was set to be Eastlea Community School in Canning Town, east London.
3Situated in the part of a church containing the altar or high altar, usually the actual east: the liturgical east window is actually in the south wall
More example sentences
  • It was believed that the east window of the church dated back to the Reformation period.
  • All this glass almost certainly came from the east chancel window, in the tracery lights of which the Lovell arms were to be seen until recently.
  • There is an inscription to Frances Matthew beside the great east window of the Minster.


To or towards the east: travelling east, he met two men the river rises east of Brentford
More example sentences
  • The corridor begins ~ 4.5 km east of Bloomington and runs east past Nashville.
  • Rough weather tends to follow my travels east into Louisiana.
  • Our friend who moved to California in May for a new job has quit the job and headed back east.


Old English ēast-, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch oost and German ost, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin aurora, Greek auōs 'dawn'.

  • All of the words for compass points are Old English. East is from an ancient root shared by the Latin word for dawn, aurora (as in the aurora borealis (early 19th century), or northern lights). It is also related to Easter, another Old English word, which is probably connected with Ēastre, the name of a Germanic goddess associated with spring and the dawn. The title of the James Dean film East of Eden (1955) is taken from the Book of Genesis: ‘And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.’

Words that rhyme with east

arriviste, artiste, batiste, beast, dirigiste, feast, least, Mideast, modiste, northeast, piste, priest, southeast, uncreased, unreleased, yeast

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: east

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