Definition of south in US English:



  • 1The direction toward the point of the horizon 90° clockwise from east, or the point on the horizon itself.

    ‘the breeze came from the south’
    ‘they trade with the countries to the south’
    • ‘She turned to the south, the direction from which the noise had come.’
    • ‘They apparently walked to the south in the direction of Pakistan and at around 6am were approached by soldiers from a nearby army post.’
    • ‘It shares a border with Colombia to the west, with Brazil to the south, and with Guyana to the east.’
    • ‘However, they did not realise the container was going directly to the south of Ireland, a trip that would normally take 42 hours.’
    • ‘To the south, west, and east it is bordered by Indian states; to the north lies Tibet.’
    • ‘The Atlantic lies to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south and east.’
    • ‘Particularly badly affected were those coming into town from the south.’
    • ‘The new landmark is on the roundabout that marks the entrance to the Perthshire town from the south.’
    • ‘West Belfast is located on hills to the west and north; therefore the main view is to the south and to the east.’
    • ‘And when I moved in a particular direction, this time to the south and east, it shone out like a light.’
    • ‘Today the small spring branch that drains the limestone hills to the south is routed directly to the river.’
    • ‘It turned and began to head in a direct line to the south.’
    • ‘To the south, San Carlos climbs upwards towards the central mountains.’
    • ‘Directly to the south is a covered loggia with an outdoor fireplace.’
    • ‘The vineyards lie in the valleys sandwiched between the mountains of western Otago and the hills to the south and east.’
    • ‘The site is open to the north, east and west, with homes to the south.’
    • ‘The site is bordered to the north by Duval Street, to the east by Julia Street, to the south by Adams Street and to the west by Broad Street.’
    • ‘The church adjoins narrow cobbled alleyways to the south, but hideous seventies offices to east and west.’
    • ‘To date, we have recorded aftershocks over a broad region, primarily extending to the south and east of the epicenter.’
    • ‘It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the east, Kenya to the south, and the Sudan to the west.’
    1. 1.1 The compass point corresponding to south.
      • ‘For example, if the compass reads south as you face the office's front door, then the back part of the room is the north section, the left is east, and the right is west.’
      • ‘The only point left on the compass to follow was south.’
      • ‘It points to every direction on the compass: north, south, east and west.’
  • 2The southern part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town.

    ‘he was staying in the south of France’
    • ‘I once went to stay in a town in the American south with a girlfriend.’
    • ‘They will visit homes in the south of the town to issue leaflets and offer advice, and will also be on patrol in Knaresborough and Ripon.’
    • ‘The Dinka inhabit a vast region in the south of the Sudan that forms a seasonal swampland when the Nile River floods.’
    • ‘It's just new to regions outside of the south where it originates.’
    • ‘They will be spending six weeks in two different towns in the south of the country.’
    • ‘There is still a difference between the north, the central region, and the south.’
    • ‘They seem to turn up in every major town in the south of England.’
    • ‘One place that's been the site of several movies is a desert town in the south of Tunisia.’
    • ‘And even in the south there remained regions, such as the Wicklow uplands, which were still Gaelic in social complexion.’
    • ‘The entire port town in the south of India prays and waits to rejoice in the company of this talented, little cricket family.’
    • ‘It all started just after I got off a train in the middle of some noname dark town in the south of France.’
    • ‘Menerbes is a small town in the south of France, very near the Spanish border.’
    • ‘He lived most of his life in Morocco which was in close contact with al-Andalus, or Andalusia, which was the Arab controlled region in the south of Spain.’
    • ‘Many of the displaced people came from the Gash Barka and Debub regions in the south - the breadbasket of Eritrea.’
    • ‘Other members of the 2,500-strong group live in Arad and Mitzpeh Ramon, other towns in Israel's south.’
    • ‘Monica moved from Bangladesh to Bolton when she was just three and a half years old and her parents still live in the south of the town.’
    • ‘I was walking around my mother's home town in the south of England with my boyfriend when I walked into a shop.’
    • ‘Ethiopian police killed at least 12 people while trying to disperse a demonstration by peasants in a regional capital in the south of the country.’
    • ‘Over 80 percent of Gabon is tropical rain forest, with a plateau region in the south.’
    • ‘Most recently, the alluvial gem gravels of the Songea and Tunduru regions in the south have been productive.’
    1. 2.1usually the South The southern states of the US, especially the eleven states of the Confederacy during the Civil War (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia).
  • 3SouthBridge
    as name The player sitting opposite and partnering North.

    • ‘South plays a low Diamond which West must win.’
    • ‘South plays the winning King of Diamonds, ruffs a Diamond, and plays three rounds of Spades ending in the dummy.’


  • 1Lying toward, near, or facing the south.

    ‘the south coast’
    • ‘However, there is a massive rock, on the edge of the channel, near the south shore.’
    • ‘But the good thing about having a fellow jet-lag sufferer on the south coast is that you can chat on the phone at 4am, and write blog posts as the sun comes up.’
    • ‘Having used this service for more than 30 years, I know how much it is a lifeline for many older people who wish to travel to the south coast to visit relatives, etc.’
    • ‘The park held an overly large lake near the south end that was always nice to swim in.’
    • ‘Epsom and Ewell's historians assume that he would have found it hard to maintain course and so could not land at any of the airfields near the south coast.’
    • ‘The sculpture was rediscovered in 1723 upside down near the south porch of the church, where it had been used as a step.’
    • ‘Adelaide is about 750 miles west of Sydney on the south coast.’
    • ‘An old male beached on the south coast in January 1992.’
    • ‘They were running down the steps into the dungeon nearest the south wall.’
    • ‘He kept looking back toward the south coast of England until eventually it slowly disappeared over the horizon.’
    • ‘The group headed towards the south wing where all their rooms were located.’
    • ‘The meeting room was on the top floor near the south side of the building.’
    • ‘They made their way towards the south entrance of the fairgrounds.’
    • ‘It coasted to a halt in a vacant parking space near the south end of the lot.’
    • ‘We are also off to the south coast today for a week's paddling near Hastings.’
    • ‘The south slope is more gentle and ends in a marshy bay.’
    • ‘Peter reports on what could turn out to be significant prehistoric remains revealed by a forest fire near the south coast of France, in the Languedoc’
    • ‘They strolled down a beaten pathway to a large clearing near the south exit to the compound.’
    • ‘Last March, near the south coast of England town of Eastbourne, a body washed ashore.’
    • ‘Ascot has royalty, Goodwood offers glorious views towards England's south coast, but, for sheer style and panache, Longchamp is peerless.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the south.
      • ‘Seventy kilometers out from Ivanhoe it is almost six o'clock, and the lift turns off like a light switch as we work our way to the north northwest in a twenty mph south wind.’
      • ‘I felt drawn to sit by the river awhile, the unseasonably south wind cool on my cheek.’
      • ‘We will be moving faster now, heading into the chop of a south wind and twilight has passed into dark.’
      • ‘The weather was hot, and a south wind grew steadily all day.’
      • ‘The air was luminous; a faint south wind murmured in the pine tops.’
      • ‘They were heading away from the rising south wind which might even be helpful to their passage as it would be behind them giving them lift and speed.’
      • ‘When the wind comes from the north, the ice is carried away, sometimes as far as the horizon, but a south wind presses the ice up against the shore.’
      • ‘On some days there will be a 10 to 15 mph south wind, and we have many airport landing zones to the north.’
      • ‘A south wind blew misty rain into his eyes as the gray walls of the city rose before him.’
      • ‘These south winds may blow long enough to take a portion of the oil northward and into the current that would carry it along Spain's north coast.’
      • ‘And one of the reasons that the water stood up high the last couple of days is we had a pretty strong south wind off the water.’
  • 2Of or denoting the southern part of a specified area, city, or country or its inhabitants.

    ‘Telegraph Hill in South Boston’
    • ‘The area has been made the highest priority in major plans for some of the most neglected areas in south Manchester.’
    • ‘And the picturesque Coate area of south Swindon will be one of the sites up for discussion.’
    • ‘The money will be used to enhance provisions at locations around the south Armagh area.’
    • ‘Passengers were evacuated from the Northern Line station in south London.’
    • ‘The candidates will surely be hearing about all these issues over the next ten weeks as they tour the south Mayo area.’
    • ‘Bradford Council said the work was essential to create more jobs and regenerate the south Bradford area.’
    • ‘Any major redevelopment of the south Sutton area is of paramount importance to all those who reside in the area.’
    • ‘A further nine men were arrested in another major operation at two properties in the Tooting area of south London.’
    • ‘Ambulance cover is being removed from rural areas of south Wiltshire, leaving many communities at risk, a company boss claimed this week.’
    • ‘Few live in the mainly working-class areas of south Madrid, where the suburban trains targeted came from.’
    • ‘Officers hope the new pictures will jog the memory of someone in the south Essex area who has come into contact with the goods.’
    • ‘Surrounding areas across south Manchester soon came to a standstill as diverted traffic clogged the streets.’
    • ‘The residents claim it will substantially increase noise pollution in the south Fingal area and interfere with local schools.’
    • ‘However, hours before the line was repaired, several areas in south Trinidad experienced power outages.’
    • ‘Consequently large areas of west and south Sligo have benefited from a scheme which has especially helped the elderly and the vulnerable.’
    • ‘It is one of a group of grand, five-storey Victorian mansions that form a square in a bad area of south London.’
    • ‘Demand for space in south Dublin remains strong.’
    • ‘Our study took place in inner city practices in south London within the health authority area of Lambeth, Southwick, and Lewisham.’
    • ‘These squads are the result of the summer camps and help to promote hurling in south Kildare area.’
    • ‘However, two more car-jackings were carried out in the south Manchester area earlier this week.’
    southern, southerly, southwardly, meridional, antarctic, polar
    View synonyms


  • 1To or toward the south.

    ‘they journeyed south along the valley’
    ‘it is handily located ten miles south of Baltimore’
    • ‘After the gathering as I journeyed south to Kilkeel I listened to Rosie’s experiences over the last year, ones that have been characterised by so much pain, conflict and pressure.’
    • ‘The Spring River forms in Howell County of southcentral Missouri just a few miles south of the Eleven Point River and near the Mark Twain National Forest, then flows southward into Arkansas at Mammoth Springs in Fulton County.’
    • ‘Then we drove the 200 km south to get to Tauranga.’
    • ‘Once the buyers, predominantly English farmers, had bought their herds the common practice was to hire some local drovers to drive the cattle south into England.’
    • ‘Their mother, a part-time doctor in Kuujjuaq, will also head south this summer.’
    • ‘The team, in existence for just three years, travelled south confident that they would be capable of making the difference between the teams count.’
    • ‘When Scotland head south this week for three games in five days, maidens of a different ilk will be on their minds, of course.’
    • ‘The team however did themselves and their many supporters who made the long trek south proud and they lost nothing in defeat against a well honed local challenge.’
    • ‘The plan had been to drive south all morning, stopping off at various orchards and demonstration fields along the way.’
    • ‘As I was driving south I saw a sign for Providence Canyon and eventually a sign for Kolomoki Mounds State Park.’
    • ‘The company rides towards the wood, then veers south, parallel to the edge of the trees.’
    • ‘Perhaps, young and experienced as they are, they fly south every time it feels a bit like winter.’
    to the south, southward, southwards, southwardly
    View synonyms
  • 2south ofBelow (a particular amount, cost, etc.)

    ‘media spending last year was south of $1 million’


[no object]
  • 1Move toward the south.

    ‘the wind southed a point or two’
    1. 1.1 (of a celestial body) cross the meridian.


  • down south

    • informal To or in the south of a country.

      • ‘There was a 7.1 earthquake down south last week, and a quick sharp jolt here on Saturday night.’
      • ‘We have also had a lot of business from down south and some international work, and our cost base is certainly better than anyone in London.’
      • ‘After a decade of separation he has been reunited with his children, Mark and Karen, and plans to move down south to live near them.’
      • ‘I think I might become one of those odious Queenslanders who defect down south!’
      • ‘We are beginning to see some innovation in education down south, although whether that is a good or bad thing is still to be determined.’
      • ‘My husband is in the process of sailing a 42 foot yacht up to Scotland from down south, so the summer will be spent on the west coast.’
      • ‘I'm not sure what happened to them but they went everywhere with me, even across the border down south.’
      • ‘The restructuring will result in 90 new jobs in Fife although there will be 200 job losses down south.’
      • ‘He was accepted, but then we found out we were moving down south.’
      • ‘A waiting list has already been drawn up, with interest coming from down south as well as other parts of the Yorkshire region.’
  • go south

    • informal Fall in value, deteriorate, or fail.

      • ‘But now that the romance has gone south, what's an equally dramatic way to get rid of the clothes, gifts, and jewelry that remind you of your hated ex?’
      • ‘Well, he did invest in some grand ventures, but the market went south on him, along with the Dow Jones index.’
      • ‘The pact would have worked had the members been willing to cut public expenditure in good times to finance the inevitable budget deficits when business went south.’
      • ‘At the same time, foreign investors have fallen out of love with equities and overseas markets have gone south.’
      • ‘Of course, things went south soon after - the new keyboard didn't work, and a second keyboard didn't work, so they had to give me a new machine.’
      • ‘The case would have gone south very fast for the prosecution if they put her on the stand and she didn't hold up.’
      • ‘I think if you expect loyalty from a television network after it goes south you're sadly mistaken.’
      • ‘Well, it seems that suddenly everybody is talking about the economy going south.’
      • ‘Throughout my career, the Air Force was trying to help me develop habit patterns that I could fall back on when routine flights went south.’
      • ‘Before his lobbying operation went south, he was an occasional guest at the White House.’
  • south by east (or west)

    • Between south and south-southeast (or south-southwest).

      • ‘The Gamka or Leuwe River runs through the Swarte Bergen south by east at the Camdous Berg where the Oliphants River flows through the Rode Berg and into the Gourits or Canna River.’
      • ‘The original Malvern house, dating from the seventeenth century, was situated one mile south by east from the Crew house.’
      • ‘It therefore very soon starts to bend slightly eastwards running south, south by east, south east by east then south east.’
      • ‘The village is small, and stands about 6 miles east of Driffield, 2 ½ miles south by east of Lowthorpe station.’
      • ‘From Parkerville the course of the river is south by east, receiving on its way the waters of Haun Creek and Crooked Creek, which enter it from the south and about a mile apart.’


Old English sūth, of Germanic origin; related to Low German sud.