south·ern | \ˈsə-t͟hərn \

Definition of southern 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of a region conventionally designated South

2a : lying toward the south

b : coming from the south a southern wind



Definition of Southern (Entry 2 of 2)

: the dialect of English spoken in most of the Chesapeake Bay area, the coastal plain and the greater part of the upland plateau in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and the Gulf states at least as far west as the valley of the Brazos in Texas and sometimes taken to include the south Midland area

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Other Words from southern


southernmost \ˈsə-t͟hərn-ˌmōst \ adjective
southernness \ˈsə-t͟hərn-nəs \ noun often capitalized

Examples of southern in a Sentence


the southern part of the state the southern shore of the lake

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Neil Young voiced support for immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border during his livestreamed concert Wednesday night at Detroit's Fox Theatre. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Neil Young Slams Trump's Family Separation Policy at Detroit Concert," 4 July 2018 Floyd-Pruitt said he was almost done, but saw a connection between Latino students talking about freedom and families being separated at our southern border. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Latino students in Milwaukee share what freedom means to them in a music video, and it's pretty hopeful," 3 July 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Print subscribers get a password for your existing account here The separation of young children from their mothers at our southern border is immoral. San Antonio Express-News, "Indefinite detention — as immoral as family separation," 2 July 2018 Hundreds of people gathered in First Ward Park on Saturday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies that have led to the separation of thousands of children from their families at the southern U.S. border. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "'Ready for action': Charlotte protesters join effort against immigration policies," 30 June 2018 Isaacs himself was also very much a symbol of Trump-era policies, his tweets having drawn attention for anti-Muslim sentiment, disbelief in climate change, and support for Trump’s wall on the southern border. Haidee Chu, The New Republic, "The U.S. loses leadership of the International Organization for Migration.," 29 June 2018 Drafted with President Trump in mind, Grassley's proposal would have provided citizenship for DACA recipients and funding the southern border wall. CNN, "How often have Senate Democrats from Trump country voted with Republicans?," 15 June 2018 Many of Drew’s social media posts in recent months have focused on national public policy issues, including the immigration crisis on the southern border. Shawn R. Beals, Courant Community, "Middletown Republicans Outraged After Drew Calls Chair Racist In Facebook Post," 13 July 2018 All nine girls were adopted by different American families in 2007 from the same orphanage in Chenzhou, Hunan, a southern province in China. NBC News, "Staying connected: Why these nine adoptees from China reunite annually," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'southern.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of southern


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1935, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for southern


Middle English southern, southren, from Old English sūtherne; akin to Old High German sundrōni southern, Old English sūth south

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Phrases Related to southern

the Southern Lights

Statistics for southern

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for southern

The first known use of southern was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of southern

: located in or toward the south

: of or relating to the south

Southern : of or relating to the people born, raised, or living in the southeastern U.S.


south·ern | \ˈsə-t͟hərn \

Kids Definition of southern

1 often capitalized : of, relating to, or like that of the South a southern climate

2 : lying toward or coming from the south southern Asia

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More from Merriam-Webster on southern

Spanish Central: Translation of southern

Nglish: Translation of southern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of southern for Arabic Speakers

Comments on southern

What made you want to look up southern? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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