\ ˈsau̇th How to pronounce south (audio) \

Definition of south

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : to, toward, or in the south a house facing south
2 : into a state of decline or ruin causes the sluggish economy to go south— G. F. Will



Definition of south (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : situated toward or at the south the south entrance
2 : coming from the south a south wind



Definition of south (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : the direction of the south terrestrial pole : the direction to the right of one facing east
b : the compass point directly opposite to north
2 capitalized : regions or countries lying to the south of a specified or implied point of orientation especially : the southeastern part of the U.S.
3 : the right side of a church looking toward the altar from the nave
4 often capitalized
a : the one of four positions at 90-degree intervals that lies to the south or at the bottom of a diagram
b : a person (such as a bridge player) occupying this position in the course of a specified activity specifically : the declarer in bridge
5 often capitalized : the developing nations of the world : third world sense 1 — compare north sense 2b


biographical name
\ ˈsau̇th How to pronounce South (audio) \

Definition of South (Entry 4 of 4)

Robert 1634–1716 English clergyman

Examples of south in a Sentence

Adverb Turn south onto Elm Street. It's a mile south of here. The birds fly south in the winter. The company's profits have gone south in recent months. The TV show's ratings have been heading south. Noun The wind blew from the south. The birds migrate from the South. Parts of the South were hit hard by the storm. I grew up in the South. The American Civil War was between the North and the South.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb His reemergence, this time as the Original Night Stalker, came a few hundred miles south near Ventura and included several murders between 1979 and 1986. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ isn’t just another true-crime docuseries. It’s a brilliant look at how the genre pulls us in.," 25 June 2020 Yarnell, an unincorporated town of about 650 residents, including many retirees, is 35 miles south of Prescott. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, "Remembering the Granite Mountain Hotshots: 7th anniversary ceremony to be different this year," 25 June 2020 The company is eliminating the third shift of workers at a plant as of July 31 in Spring Hill, Tennessee, about 40 miles south of Nashville. Chris Isidore, CNN, "GM cuts 700 jobs because of weak sales it blames on Covid-19," 25 June 2020 The epicenter was 7 miles south-southwest of Santa Maria Zapotitlan in Oaxaca state. USA TODAY, "Powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake hits near Mexico City, sending thousands into streets," 23 June 2020 The storm was centered Tuesday afternoon nearly 400 miles south-southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and moving to the east-northeast at 13 mph. Fox News, "Tropical Storm Dolly forms over North Atlantic, no threat to land," 23 June 2020 On the northern reaches of Big Sur, just 15 miles south of Carmel, stop to take an obligatory photo of the Bixby Bridge, one of the tallest concrete bridges in the world. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "14 Best Road Trips in America," 22 June 2020 Huron High, five miles south of Metro Airport, is home of the Chiefs and Native American imagery is found throughout the school including Indian heads in headdress on team apparel and on the wall of the gym. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Is the bell tolling for Native American mascots?," 22 June 2020 Gray and his family had traveled 90 miles south from their hometown of Montgomery for his stepfather's family reunion. USA Today, "These Black teens are turning 18 in Tamir Rice’s America," 22 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hundreds of customers stepped up to buy gift cards, showing their support for the shop that’s been a fixture on Madison’s south side for decades. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sales of canoes, kayaks, other outdoor gear are on the mend, triggering shortages in the pandemic," 27 June 2020 To hear the bells, stand on the south side of the courthouse. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, "Remembering the Granite Mountain Hotshots: 7th anniversary ceremony to be different this year," 25 June 2020 More: Graham then allegedly drove over the curb and hit the third woman on the south side of Peterboro Street before driving off and crashing into a tree. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit woman who hit three before crashing into a tree charged," 24 June 2020 Last week, Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced that the Christopher Columbus statue on the south side of City Hall will be removed as soon as possible and placed in storage, the Dispatch reported. Sarah Brookbank,, "Flavortown, Ohio? Thousands want Columbus renamed for native Guy Fieri," 22 June 2020 The surfing tournament is also a nine-day festival that packs the sand on the south side of the famed Huntington Beach Pier. USA TODAY, "Airport number war, Navajo lockdowns, petition rules: News from around our 50 states," 18 June 2020 Wynne/Jackson has acquired the 182 acres on the south side of Interstate 30 in Royce City. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Hundreds of new homes coming in Royce City northeast of Dallas," 18 June 2020 The officers were responding to a complaint about a man parked and asleep in the drive-through of a Wendy’s on the south side of Atlanta. Derek Hawkins,, "Former Atlanta officer who shot Rayshard Brooks charged with murder, other counts," 17 June 2020 The park offers views of the Siuslaw River and Bridge and the sand dunes on the south side of the river, according to the City of Florence’s website. oregonlive, "Now you can visit Exploding Whale Memorial Park on the Oregon coast," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Imperial County is bordered by Arizona to the east, Riverside County to the north, San Diego to the west and Mexico to the south. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "Imperial County officials meeting to work out a coronavirus plan," 27 June 2020 Dust forms in the Sahara desert and on the edge of the more lush Sahel — a narrow transition zone between desert to the north and savanna to the south — in north Africa. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Saharan dust cloud cloaks U.S. Gulf Coast in choking haze," 26 June 2020 As the weather cools in Africa starting in mid-August, that temperature differential between the desert and the forests to the south will weaken, zapping the SAL conveyor belt. Matt Simon, Wired, "Why Massive Saharan Dust Plumes Are Blowing Into the US," 25 June 2020 Just to the south, Kosciusko County saw its highest number of cases confirmed in a single day since the pandemic began, 26. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana coronavirus cases: 523 new cases, 9 more deaths reported," 25 June 2020 Hippocrates, often called the father of modern medicine, argued that more equatorial civilizations to the south were inferior because the climate was too hot for creativity. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020 A hundred miles to the south in Montgomery, the newest monument to Southern history was a memorial to more than 4,400 black victims of lynchings that took place in the decades following the Civil War. Author: Stephanie Mccrummen, Anchorage Daily News, "NASCAR’s Confederate flag ban means grandstanding for some, realizations for others," 22 June 2020 Dallas Love Field received 4.7 inches of rain overnight, with 4.28 inches falling at Dallas Executive Airport to the south. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Worst over after overnight storm pelts Dallas area with rain and wind gusts, weather service says," 20 June 2020 The Cliff House looms nearby to the south, and Seal Rocks are just offshore. Tom Stienstra,, "Top 10 Bay Area beaches to visit during shelter-in-place," 19 June 2020

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


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


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for south


Middle English, from Old English sūth; akin to Old High German sund- south and probably to Old English sunne sun

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Time Traveler for south

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for south

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“South.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for south


How to pronounce South (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of south

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the south
US, informal : into a worse state or condition



English Language Learners Definition of south (Entry 2 of 3)

: located in or toward the south
: coming from the south



English Language Learners Definition of south (Entry 3 of 3)

: the direction that is to your right when you are facing the rising sun : the direction that is the opposite of north
: regions or countries south of a certain point especially : the southern part of the U.S.


\ ˈsau̇th How to pronounce south (audio) \

Kids Definition of south

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the south The cabin faces south.



Kids Definition of south (Entry 2 of 3)

: placed toward, facing, or coming from the south a south wind



Kids Definition of south (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the direction to the right of someone facing east : the compass point opposite to north
2 capitalized : regions or countries south of a point that is mentioned or understood

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More from Merriam-Webster on south

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with south

Spanish Central: Translation of south

Nglish: Translation of south for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of south for Arabic Speakers

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