south·​paw | \ ˈsau̇th-ˌpȯ How to pronounce southpaw (audio) \

Definition of southpaw

: left-hander especially : a left-handed baseball pitcher

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Other Words from southpaw

southpaw adjective

Did You Know?

Southpaw is of obscure origin. A popular theory holds that it comes from the onetime position of ballparks in relation to the sun. Supposedly, late 19th-century ballparks were laid out so that the pitcher looked in a westerly direction when facing the batter. The throwing arm of a left-handed pitcher would then be to the south-hence the name southpaw. This theory of its origin is undermined, however, by the fact that the original use of southpaw does not involve baseball at all. Rather, the term was used as early as 1848 to describe, simply, the left hand or a punch or blow given with the left hand. Today, we often use southpaw as a good-natured term for a left-handed person, but the word is sometimes viewed as stigmatizing by left-handed people.

Examples of southpaw in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But there are still questions to be answered by his southpaw counterpart, as Mickelson is now less than a month away from turning 50. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "How to watch golf match featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady for free live (5/24/20)," 24 May 2020 On the shoulders of newcomer Austin Slater, the Giants ripped off nine extra-base hits, slugged three home runs, crushed Padres rookie southpaw Logan Allen and cruised to a 13-2 win. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants reap the benefits from outfield changes, Slater crushes Padres in season debut," 1 July 2019 Wright, a native of Washington, D.C., was a 5-foot-10 southpaw who captured the NABF light middleweight title twice (1995-96, 2000) and four world 154-pound title belts. Houston Chronicle, "Vitali Klitschko honors brother in his Hall of Fame moment," 10 June 2018 The southpaw had a 4.29 ERA and was 7–7 with 78 strikeouts in 15 starts this season. Emily Caron,, "Angels' Tyler Skaggs Choked to Death With Opioids, Alcohol in System," 30 Aug. 2019 The southpaw Allen holds a huge advantage in takedown accuracy at 56.25 to 34.69 percent for Lentz. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "UFC on ESPN+ 24: Arnold Allen vs. Nik Lentz odds, picks and best bets," 24 Jan. 2020 But Jedrzejczyk gathered herself late in the second round and had an outstanding third, switching to a southpaw stance and battering Zhang. oregonlive, "Chinese fighter Zhang Weili tops Joanna Jedrzejczyk in brutal, hard-fought battle: UFC 248 recap, results, video highlights," 8 Mar. 2020 However, the southpaw feels confident in her abilities to distance herself from the big shot and administer big hits of her own. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "UFC 247: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Katlyn Chookagian odds, picks and best bets," 8 Feb. 2020 Plus, the play of the club’s MLB Pipeline prospects of the year — Lancaster southpaw pitcher Ryan Rolison as well as Isotopes/Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard — offered promise for the future. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "State of Rockies farm system: Even with far less big-name prospects, franchise must lean on minor leagues to get back into contention," 30 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'southpaw.' 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 southpaw

1871, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of southpaw was in 1871

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Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Southpaw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for southpaw


How to pronounce southpaw (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of southpaw

informal : someone who is left-handed especially : a left-handed baseball pitcher or boxer


south·​paw | \ ˈsau̇th-ˌpȯ How to pronounce southpaw (audio) \

Kids Definition of southpaw

: a person (as a baseball pitcher) who is left-handed

More from Merriam-Webster on southpaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with southpaw

Nglish: Translation of southpaw for Spanish Speakers

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