south·​west | \ sau̇th-ˈwest How to pronounce southwest (audio) , nautical sau̇-ˈwest\

Definition of southwest

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to, toward, or in the southwest



Definition of southwest (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the general direction between south and west
b : the point midway between the south and west compass points
2 capitalized : regions or countries lying to the southwest of a specified or implied point of orientation especially : the southwestern part of the U.S.



Definition of southwest (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : coming from the southwest a southwest wind
2 : situated toward or at the southwest the southwest corner

Examples of southwest in a Sentence

Adverb It's about 80 miles southwest of here. Noun A mountain range is in the southwest of the country. These plants grow in the Southwest. Adjective the southwest corner of the building
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Henrik Ibsen was born in 1828 in Skien, a prosperous town about eighty miles southwest of the Norwegian capital. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 But tributes started pouring in online from his friends and family in Culpeper, which is about 70 miles southwest of Washington. Washington Post, "He’d just started at Radford University. Then the freshman was found dead in a Va. jail cell.," 16 Sep. 2019 The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.5, was centered 87 miles southwest of the coastal city of Valparaiso in central Chile, the USGS said. NBC News, "Magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes Chile," 1 Aug. 2019 The storm was about 1,410 miles southwest of the tip of Baja California early Sunday and there were no coastal watches or warnings in effect. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Tropical Storm Erick is expected to strengthen into a hurricane Monday," 28 July 2019 Suess says state regulators are investing the spill about 3 miles southwest of Epping. USA TODAY, "Tubing, Hemingway, great white sharks: News from around our 50 states," 21 July 2019 He was convicted of the June 2010 slaying of Nancy Weatherly during a robbery at her rural home near Godley, located 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth. CBS News, "Texas executes man for killing 61-year-old grandmother in 2010," 10 Sep. 2019 Hope Creek Campground, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska Accessible by float plane, this remote park, about 120 miles southwest of Anchorage, is worth the trip. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "10 great places to camp in America's national parks, from Zion to Shenandoah," 5 Sep. 2019 Unlike jubilant celebrations in metropolitan cities for returning American troops, Nez's Navajo community of Chi Chil Tah, 23 miles southwest of Gallup, was subdued. Betty Reid, azcentral, "To Chester Nez, last of the original Code Talkers, the words are more than a code," 29 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His golf ball was 10 feet from the hole on the 18th green at Victoria National in southwest Indiana. Ryan Nilsson,, "Buffalo Grove grad Doug Ghim drains the putt of his life, earns PGA Tour card," 15 Sep. 2019 In a small town in rural southwest Virginia, two women and a one-year-old boy were found dead Tuesday inside their home. al, "Arrest made in triple homicide of Montgomery Biscuits’ Blake Bivens family," 28 Aug. 2019 Reich-Hale said that Magnificent Development & Construction, which is based in southwest Houston, acquired the property last year. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Aging Baby Boomers will find a home in Katy with new assisted-living facility planned," 26 Aug. 2019 The snake dropped from the roof of the building as the legislators were about to meet on Wednesday in Akure, Ondo State in Nigeria's southwest. Bukola Adebayo And Oluranti Dada, CNN, "Snake forces Nigerian lawmakers out of chamber," 26 July 2019 To allocate 15 percent of a public park for the benefit of one of our jewel nonprofits, one of the great creators of music in the southwest United States, is a brilliant combination. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Symphony’s permanent home on the bay could be ready for 2020 summer pops," 24 July 2019 The video was filmed while NCT 127 was touring in the southwest of the United States in the Mojave Desert, and a variety of rock formations and Joshua trees visible throughout the clip. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "NCT 127 Take the 'Highway to Heaven' in New Music Video: Watch," 22 July 2019 As of Friday morning it was located several hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Leigh Morgan, al, "Track of potential Tropical Storm Humberto shifts more to the east," 13 Sep. 2019 Ivo was about 300 miles west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas on Saturday morning. Paul Duginski, Los Angeles Times, "Tropical Storm Ivo sending big surf to Southern California beaches this weekend," 24 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bagger’’ Huggins, 56, who was taken from a home in Northeast Portland to a rural property in southwest Washington, where he was beaten, tortured and killed. oregonlive, "Ex-Gypsy Joker motorcycle club member accused of racketeering fears retaliation in custody, testimony reveals," 10 Sep. 2019 Mine came at 18, in southwest France heading to surf the storied seaboard of the Pays Basque. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, "Follow the French: A look at the French influence on cuisine around the world," 2 Aug. 2019 And sales associate Jeremy Harrison at Lebanon Ford in southwest Ohio said the dealership has about 20 Explorers in its inventory. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Mysterious problems disrupt delivery of 2020 Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator," 18 June 2019 Meanwhile, a tornado watch has been issued for southwest Wisconsin, including the La Crosse and Eau Claire areas. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Severe weather threat expanded to include Milwaukee; flooding rains possible; tornado watch for southwest Wisconsin," 12 Sep. 2019 The break-in occurred about 8:30 p.m. at the station located at 4700 W. Dobbins Road in southwest Phoenix, police said. Molly Duerig, azcentral, "2 men sought after shots fired at firefighters during break-in at Phoenix fire station," 12 Sep. 2019 He was born and raised in the Westbury community on the southwest side of Houston and attended the High School For Performing and Visual Arts. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area high school football media poll: Week 3," 10 Sep. 2019 While southwest border apprehensions of unaccompanied migrant children declined only slightly from July to August, apprehensions of members of families plummeted from more than 42,000 in July to a little over 25,000 in August. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Border chief says Mexico contributed to big drop in migrant arrests," 9 Sep. 2019 The collision occurred in southwest London, just 300 yards from Mayor's home. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton and Prince William's Police Convoy Crashed into an 83-Year-Old Woman," 19 June 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for southwest

Last Updated

5 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for southwest

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

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More Definitions for southwest


How to pronounce southwest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of southwest

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the southwest



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

: the direction between south and west
: the southwestern part of a country or region especially : the southwestern part of the U.S.



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

: located in the southwest
: blowing from the southwest


south·​west | \ sau̇th-ˈwest How to pronounce southwest (audio) \

Kids Definition of southwest

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to or toward the direction between south and west The town is southwest of here.



Kids Definition of southwest (Entry 2 of 3)

: placed toward, facing, or coming from the southwest southwest winds



Kids Definition of southwest (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : the direction between south and west
2 capitalized : regions or countries southwest of a point that is mentioned or understood

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More from Merriam-Webster on southwest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with southwest

Spanish Central: Translation of southwest

Nglish: Translation of southwest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of southwest for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about southwest

Comments on southwest

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an agreement to stop fighting a war

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