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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Some of the nutrients came from natural sources, the result of upwelling of nutrient-rich water along the western coast of Africa, the team of oceanographers reports today in Science. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "This is the world’s largest patch of seaweed. And it’s growing in an unexpected place," 4 July 2019 An enormous kitchen occupied most of the western wing, while the Greys’ private apartments and chapels stood in the eastern wing. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Is This the Childhood Home of Lady Jane Grey, England’s Nine-Day Queen?," 3 July 2019 James River Heritage Trail, Lynchburg, Virginia The James River Heritage Trail winds through western Virginia's Allegheny Mountains. Sam Silverman, Health.com, "The 12 Best Bike Trails of 2019 for Summer Activities," 3 July 2019 While Mohseni lived there, wearing western-style dress (like jeans) was looked down upon, as was presenting in any way that was outside of strict gender norms. Rachel Lubitz, refinery29.com, "I Was Arrested For Having Long Hair. Now I'm In A Pantene Ad.," 30 June 2019 On a recent evening in Brest, a western city near the border with Poland, scores of people, mostly young, gathered for a meeting of Mova Nanova, a national program set up by Mr. Labadzenka, the poet, to teach and promote Belarusian. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "As Putin Pushes a Merger, Belarus Resists With Language, Culture and History," 29 June 2019 The researchers compared calluses and foot sensitivity among 81 people from western Kenya, some of whom regularly went without footwear and some of whom did not. Karen Weintraub, Scientific American, "Going Barefoot Is Good for the Sole," 26 June 2019 Micciche and other lawmakers were particularly disturbed at the death of Ashley Johnson-Barr, a 10-year-old girl in Kotzebue, a small town in remote western Alaska, who went missing last September. USA Today, "A deadly place: Alaska is the most dangerous state for women, now they're fighting back," 25 June 2019 Officials in this western Kansas city are sweating over a nearly century-old swimming pool that leaks about 200,000 gallons of water every day. USA TODAY, "Child rock climber, baby doll scare, real-life RoboCop: News from around our 50 states," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Just a few months earlier, the film, a satire of old Hollywood westerns, made waves in the New York Times for its portrait of gay desire. Michael Waters, Smithsonian, "The Stonewall of the South That History Forgot," 25 June 2019 But the frontier was closed, and its memory was already being turned into myth in dime novels, westerns, and Wild West shows. David Treuer, Harper's magazine, "2020 Vision," 10 Jan. 2019 The route, which bypassed western Europe to pass over the Norwegian Sea, likely spanned more than seven thousand miles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Strategic Nuclear Bombers Fly to Venezuela for Exercises," 11 Dec. 2018 In fact, the first feature by South African director Michael Matthews and writer Sean Drummond is many westerns. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Five Fingers for Marseilles’ Review: South Africa’s Meta-Western," 13 Sep. 2018 In a scene straight out of a Hollywood western, a group of cowboys stepped in to save the day when a bull broke loose Monday and began a rampage in downtown Oklahoma City -- coming dangerously close to a hospital and bus station. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Bull escapes Oklahoma City pen, dies after gallivanting near hospital," 15 Aug. 2018 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

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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Statistics for western

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for western

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

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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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