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 But polio is a wily foe and though the global eradication program has come close on a couple of occasions, wild polio continues to circulate in pockets of western Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Helen Branswell, STAT, 7 Aug. 2022 Some work has been done locally, including a fuel mitigation project on private properties that border the forestland on the western edge of Yreka. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2022 On Friday, Sinema's Arizona colleague Mark Kelly announced a deal to include $4 billion in resources to combat draught in the western U.S. in the bill. Isabella Murray, ABC News, 6 Aug. 2022 Michael Cornell, superintendent of Hamburg Central School District in western New York, said his students need to get back to normal. Nancy Chen, Alexander Tin, CBS News, 5 Aug. 2022 Earlier this week, flash floods hit parts of western Nevada, forcing the closure of some roads leading to the park from Las Vegas. Meena Venkataramanan, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Those swabs returned a cluster of positives in the south-western corner of the market—on a glove found on one of the stalls, from a grate under one of the cages. Wired, 5 Aug. 2022 Additionally, learning more about the prints may offer a better understanding of the Indigenous population in the western US. Rachel Fadem, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 Their discovery suggests that other hidden pieces of history may be waiting to be found across the western U.S. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moving from the western to the eastern end of the bay, the ratio of zucchini to basil in the dish declined (at least to my palate and fuzzy math). Daniel Ford, The New Yorker, 11 July 2022 This film is pure revenge, and, so, pure western in our opinion. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 23 May 2022 But not one of the cars has been in the lot on the western-most stub of Frankfort Avenue longer than Anthony Calhoun’s Camaro. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, 8 Apr. 2022 The fatality comes six months after the high-profile killing of another cinematographer on the set of a low-budget western in New Mexico. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Brolin’s character in this western, Amazon’s Outer Range, is ranch holder Royal Abbott, patriarch of Abbott Ranch and owner of one great-looking zip jacket with a corduroy collar. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 16 Apr. 2022 The playful video uses bright colors and modern scenes to display a modern, parodied version of a western. Izzy Colón, SPIN, 30 Mar. 2022 The Sopranos are the blueprint for modern television and so their genes are as much in Yellowstone as the genes of any American western. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 29 Mar. 2022 That’s the question posed by director Jane Campion in this hysterical gay western. Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About western

Time Traveler for western

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near western



Western Aramaic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for western

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Western.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/western. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for western


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 television show about life in the western United States especially in the last part of the 19th century

More from Merriam-Webster on western

Nglish: Translation of western for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of western for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about western


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!