west·ern | \ˈwe-stərn \

Definition of western 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : coming from the west a western storm

b : situated or lying toward the west islands in the western half of the archipelago

2 or Western : of, relating to, or characteristic of a region conventionally designated West: such as

a : steeped in or stemming from the Greco-Roman traditions Western culture

b : of or relating to the noncommunist countries of Europe and America Western powers

c : of, relating to, or characteristic of the American West Western clothes western music

3 Western : of or relating to the Roman Catholic or Protestant segment of Christianity Western liturgies



Definition of western (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that is produced in or characteristic of a western region and especially the western U.S.

2 often capitalized : a novel, story, motion picture, or broadcast dealing with life in the western U.S. especially during the latter half of the 19th century

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Other Words from western


westernmost \ˈwe-stərn-ˌmōst \ adjective

Examples of western in a Sentence


the western part of the state Old western movies are my favorites.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Archaeologists have found a hidden network of tombs in Minya and a rare Greco-Roman temple in the western desert, while the authorities have stepped up efforts to recover ancient treasures smuggled abroad. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Sarcophagus Found. Contents Unknown. (‘No Guessing, Please.’)," 13 July 2018 Nearly 200 free-roaming horses died this spring in a stock pond near Gray Mountain on the western side of the Navajo Reservation. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Volunteers care for Navajo wild horses during drought, despite overpopulation concerns," 13 July 2018 The Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti had arrived in the port of Trapani, in western Sicily, on Thursday, but the migrants were kept aboard for several hours. Washington Post, "Rescued migrants questioned in Sicily about alleged threats," 13 July 2018 Dozens of development projects are featured on the firm’s website, from Anne Arundel County to western Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "As governor, Larry Hogan's real estate business continues to thrive — prompting questions," 13 July 2018 An international co-production between Ukraine, Germany and Monaco, director Roman Bondarchuk's first dramatic feature is a mix of Kafka-esque road movie and contemporary western, rich in sumptuous visuals and lyrical strangeness. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 The acquisition put Lilis in the Delaware Basin, the less developed western lobe of the Permian that extends into New Mexico. Jordan Blum, San Antonio Express-News, "Lilis may be an acquisition target," 13 July 2018 The Longhorned tick was found recently on an opossum in Polk County, in western North Carolina along the South Carolina border. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "New ‘exotic’ tick invades NC, and it’s an ‘aggressive biter.’ How far has it spread?," 12 July 2018 In western Colorado, the environmental group Citizens for Clean Air has put up two dozen low-cost monitors around Grand Junction to supplement the two state-run monitors in the Grand Valley. Jason Plautz, WIRED, "Cheap, Portable Sensors Are Democratizing Air-Quality Data," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And traditionally, violence — and especially violence towards women — in westerns is perpetrated by Native Americans. refinery29.com, "Finally, A Western That's Not About A Dude & His Horse," 26 June 2018 The Disney and Lucasfilm space western is expected to gross $150 million to $180 million during the long Memorial Day weekend, which should be enough loot to pay off Jabba if nothing else. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "California Inc.: From a galaxy far, far away ... heeere's Han!," 21 May 2018 The appeal of the western has certainly rubbed off on Zhao, who’s now immersed in writing one. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "The western rides back from the sunset in 'The Rider,' one of the best films of the year," 19 Apr. 2018 Traditionally in westerns, the indigenous people are just the bad guys. refinery29.com, "Finally, A Western That's Not About A Dude & His Horse," 26 June 2018 Khali the Killer is a violent crime drama that, based on the actual trailer, seems to draw a lot of influence from westerns and '70s exploitation films. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Sony tries to upload movie trailer to YouTube, posts entire movie instead," 3 July 2018 There’s a fast-moving heist movie/Alistair MacLean runaway-train thriller that takes up an early chunk of the film, and the nods to classic westerns are everywhere. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Solo’ turns an iconic character’s backstory into a decent B-movie," 22 May 2018 His varied career has taken him from dramas like Cop Land and Girl, Interrupted to westerns like 3:10 to Yuma, but genre fans will know him best as the writer-director of the Wolverine swan song Logan. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The director of Logan is reportedly making a Boba Fett movie," 24 May 2018 The 326-acre park, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, was once Paramount Pictures’ outdoor studio, where countless Hollywood westerns were filmed. Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "10 Historic L.A. Places to Visit on a Sunny Day," 14 May 2018

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


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


1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for western


Middle English westerne, from Old English; akin to Old High German westrōni western, Old English west

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Phrases Related to western

Western medicine

Statistics for western

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for western

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

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More Definitions for western



English Language Learners Definition of western

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: located in or toward the west

Western : of or relating to the countries of North America and Western Europe

: of or relating to the American West



English Language Learners Definition of western (Entry 2 of 2)

: a story, movie, or television show about life in the American West in the late 19th century; especially : a movie about cowboys


west·ern | \ˈwe-stərn \

Kids Definition of western

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : of, relating to, or like that of the West

2 : lying toward or coming from the west


noun, often capitalized

Kids Definition of western (Entry 2 of 2)

: a story, film, or radio or television show about life in the western United States especially in the last part of the 19th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on western

Spanish Central: Translation of western

Nglish: Translation of western for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of western for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about western

Comments on western

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lying above or upon

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