west·​ern | \ ˈwe-stərn How to pronounce western (audio) \

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

Examples of western in a Sentence

Adjective the western part of the state Old western movies are my favorites.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Recent advances by the Red Army had positioned Soviets to occupy eastern Germany while American, British, and French troops occupied western Germany. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 7 May 2020 With the plant’s location on the western edge of the county, the majority of employees live in Benton and Franklin counties. oregonlive, "Tyson beef plant reopens near Oregon border after coronavirus outbreak, mass testing," 6 May 2020 The western edge of Sichuan borders Hubei province, where the pandemic’s epicenter, Wuhan, is located. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Inside China’s reopening: A tech founder in Chengdu returns to a changed workplace," 4 May 2020 During morning rush hour a week later, a Taliban car bomb ripped through western Kabul. Dan Xin Huang, The New Republic, "Afghanistan May Soon Have Peace. And the Cost Is Democracy.," 29 Apr. 2020 And earlier this month, a massive iceberg along the western edge of Antarctica broke off from the Pine Island Glacier. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A heat wave in Antarctica melted 20% of an island's snow in 9 days," 24 Feb. 2020 While scores of restaurants flounder or even collapse, El Arroyo, a popular Mexican restaurant at the western edge of downtown Austin, found a ticket to survival with a savvy marketing move — the sale of to-go margaritas. Sarah Mervosh, BostonGlobe.com, "All 50 States Are Now Reopening. But at What Cost?," 20 May 2020 Many people could be seen playing sports, jogging and enjoying nature at the Bois de Boulogne park on the western edge of Paris on Saturday, one of the few green spaces allowed to reopen. NBC News, "Italy reopens shops, bars and restaurants as 10-week lockdown eases," 18 May 2020 After Sears built its new corporate offices on vacant farmland on the village’s western edge, the flood of new jobs and businesses that was expected to follow never materialized. At A Great Price, ProPublica, "Nearing Bankruptcy, Sears Claimed Fast-Food Workers and Baristas as Employees to Keep Tax Breaks," 17 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As others have suggested, Boetticher’s westerns are also unusually claustrophobic. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Don’t Get What’s So Great About Westerns? Start Here," 26 Mar. 2020 His work covered a range of genres, from westerns and epic dramas to romances and action adventures. Washington Post, "Kirk Douglas, whose masculine energy powered scores of film roles, dies at 103," 6 Feb. 2020 Going back to the future, the show combined theatrical production values with the economy of old TV westerns, in a way that somehow felt fresh, new and mostly, fun. Brian Lowry, CNN, "The most satisfying movies and TV of 2019," 26 Dec. 2019 This was a 1968-70 CBS western that in Tarantino’s telling books Rick as a guest villain. Bruce Fretts, New York Times, "“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”," 30 July 2019 The semirural character of the town, accentuated by the surrounding rugged terrain, made Chatsworth a popular filming location for westerns. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Chatsworth keeps one foot in the Old West," 25 May 2018 The 1950s were the heyday of the television western. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "25 of the Best Handguns Ever," 6 June 2019 As long-running series, Star Wars and Star Trek are successful examples of the space western. Ani Bundel, Ars Technica, "Space cowboy successes, and failures, ahead of The Mandalorian’s Disney+ launch," 11 Nov. 2019 The True History of The Kelly Gang Justin Kurzel’s Australian western, an adaptation of the Peter Carey novel, skipped Cannes but could land in Venice. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Venice Film Fest: 20 Projects on the Short List," 15 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for western

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for western

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Western.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/western. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for western


How to pronounce western (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of western

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: located in or toward the west
: 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 How to pronounce western (audio) \

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

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