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

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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 For extra help during bear encounters, the USDA Wildlife Services offers a toll-free line at 1-800-433-0663 for southern Wisconsin and 1-800-228-1368 for northern Wisconsin. Kelli Arseneau, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 June 2021 The storm could bring another 2 to 4 inches of rain from the Florida Panhandle through southern Georgia and into the Carolinas through Monday morning. Leigh Morgan, al, 21 June 2021 In the Seaford district in southern Delaware, Black third- and fourth-graders in 2019 caught up to where White students had been in 2014. Washington Post, 20 June 2021 Flash flood watches were posted Sunday for eastern Georgia, the southern two-thirds of South Carolina, and the North Carolina coast., 20 June 2021 The system bringing chances of rain will start in southern Arizona on Tuesday and will make its way north passing over central Arizona and into northern Arizona by Wednesday night, the service explained. Miguel Torres, The Arizona Republic, 20 June 2021 As Claudette raged as a tropical storm Saturday morning, a tornado hit the southern Alabama community of East Brewton, the Brewton Fire Department said, according to the National Weather Service. Aya Elamroussi And Jason Hanna, CNN, 20 June 2021 Until recently China accounted for around 96 percent of Australian exports of southern rock lobster, trade worth over half a billion U.S. dollars a year to the the antipodean nation. NBC News, 20 June 2021 All Decim-group 13-year cicadas in central Missouri and much of southern Illinois switched life cycles from 17 to 13 years 200,000 years ago. Julia Musto, Fox News, 19 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for southern

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for southern

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Southern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for southern



English Language Learners Definition of southern

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


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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