south·​ern | \ ˈsə-t͟hərn How to pronounce southern (audio) \

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

Other Words from southern


southernness \ ˈsə-​t͟hərn-​nəs How to pronounce southern (audio) \ noun, often capitalized

Examples of southern in a Sentence

Adjective the southern part of the state the southern shore of the lake
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Israel’s advanced defense systems have intercepted most of the rockets that crossed into Israeli territory, although a rocket struck a house in the southern city of Sderot on Saturday, causing some material damage. Aaron Boxerman, WSJ, 6 Aug. 2022 Russia shelling damaged a pier, an industrial enterprise, residential buildings, a garage cooperative, a supermarket and a pharmacy in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv late Tuesday and early Wednesday, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said. Celina Tebor, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 The southern Spanish city of Seville is taking that approach with heat waves, becoming world's first to do so. Angela Dewan, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 State media released a map indicating six areas off Taiwan’s coast, including one less than 15 miles from the southern port city of Kaohsiung, and warned foreign ships and aircraft to stay away. Jennifer Jett, NBC News, 3 Aug. 2022 Meanwhile, Russian forces kept up their bombardment of the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, shelling it twice over the past 24 hours — around 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim reported. Zeynep Bilginsoy, ajc, 3 Aug. 2022 Russian forces continued to strike on the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, shelling it twice over the past 24 hours, Mykolaiv regional governor Vitaliy Kim reported. Katya Soldak, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 The southern city of Mykolaiv reported renewed shelling overnight. Sean Fanning, Washington Post, 3 Aug. 2022 The southern city of Mykolaiv also faced repeated shelling that ruined a building at a hospital and damaged ambulances, according to regional Gov. Vitaliy Kim. Susie Blann And Suzan Fraser, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for southern

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near southern



Southern Alps

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Statistics for southern

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Southern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for southern


south·​ern | \ ˈsə-t͟hərn How to pronounce southern (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on southern

Nglish: Translation of southern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of southern for Arabic Speakers


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