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south·​ern ˈsə-t͟hərn How to pronounce southern (audio)
capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of a region conventionally designated South
: lying toward the south
: coming from the south
a southern wind
southernness noun often capitalized


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: 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

Examples of southern in a Sentence

Adjective the southern part of the state the southern shore of the lake
Recent Examples on the Web
Naim Qassem faulted Israel and the United States for perpetuating tit-for-tat attacks that have killed hundreds in southern Lebanon and displaced tens of thousands of civilians on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border. Matt Bradley, NBC News, 18 Apr. 2024 Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument This route traverses winding mountain roads through Los Padres and spits you out near the southern entrance to Carrizo Plain — a vast preserve of native grassland and a hotspot for wildflowers (at least on some years) and birdwatching. Michael Charboneau, Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2024 While the stage is set for critical fire weather in the central and southern High Plains, a winter storm will bring heavy snow over parts of the Central Rockies. Taylor Ward, CNN, 6 Apr. 2024 About five seconds of slight shaking was felt in Cape Cod, Mass., and a few people reported it in southern Maine. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 Migrants have crossed illegally in record numbers during the Biden administration, with an average of 2 million annual Border Patrol encounters along the entire southern border since 2021, the highest levels on record. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Apr. 2024 Northern and southern Indiana are still expected to experience some clouds. Alex Groth, Journal Sentinel, 5 Apr. 2024 Toro Muerto is in the mountains of southern Peru along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 5 Apr. 2024 The remaining facility, a converted juvenile detention facility, will have the space for about 150 migrants, vastly reducing their capacity to take in migrants from across southern Arizona. Rafael Carranza, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2024
Property description: For those seeking an untraditional stay, the Southern Caboose x525 is located on a working cattle farm. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 13 Apr. 2024 SoCal home prices All-cash offers and wealthy buyers push Southern California home prices to a record. Defne Karabatur, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2024 Calipari was announced as Arkansas' new coach Wednesday, replacing Eric Musselman, who was hired at Southern Cal. Bob Holt,, 13 Apr. 2024 Water stations will be available to attendees after concerns about limited water, the festival’s organizing company, Southern Entertainment, said in a statement. Jeff A. Chamer, Charlotte Observer, 13 Apr. 2024 Between 2006 and 2012, Rocha advised military officials at U.S. Southern Command, a military branch whose responsibility includes Cuba. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2024 He was spotted later in the Bronco with Cowlings, sparking a 60-mile (96-kilometer) police pursuit across Southern California. Ben Finley, Quartz, 13 Apr. 2024 After two years at Georgia Southern University, Goggins moved to Los Angeles to act full-time. Gillian Telling, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 Historically, Torrey Pines has produced some of the top squads in Southern California. Ivan Orozco, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'southern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


1935, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near southern

Cite this Entry

“Southern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


south·​ern ˈsət͟h-ərn How to pronounce southern (audio)
capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of the South
: lying toward or coming from the south
southernmost adjective

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