Definition of southwest in US English:



  • 1usually the southwestThe direction toward the point of the horizon midway between south and west, or the point of the horizon itself.

    ‘clouds uncoiled from the southwest’
    • ‘Bellacorick power station and wind farm are 15 km to the south-west.’
    • ‘He passed through the town centre of Brentwood and took the road to the south-west, telling himself to remain more or less within the speed limit.’
    • ‘By the 10th century, Hamwic had been largely abandoned in favour of a site a short distance to the south-west, where a defended settlement was established.’
    • ‘Both courses are on a peninsula and as you look over the water, you can see Carnoustie to the north-west and Muirfield in North Berwick to the south-west.’
    • ‘The effect of this slip has been to displace north-western parts of Sumatra a few metres to the south-west.’
    • ‘The great house they built may just be ridges in the field to the south-west of the church, but you feel you have met them, Sir Arthur Throckmorton, an Elizabethan squire, and his wife.’
    • ‘To the south-west is the Mormond hill, which shelters Strichen from the icy winds coming off the North Sea.’
    • ‘It said an extension to the south-west was the only one which proved be viable.’
    • ‘It contains the north-western suburbs of Johannesburg as well as western Randburg to the north and Florida to the south-west.’
    • ‘The wreck points to the south-west, so a south-east to north-west search with an echo-sounder presents the best chance of success.’
    • ‘Several quarries still operate in the Gosford area just north of Sydney, and one near Bundanoon to the south-west.’
    • ‘At Mildenhall Fen, ten miles to the south-west, two similar middens were excavated, again without any evidence for buildings.’
    • ‘Geelong, 80 kilometres to the south-west, is the home to the second-oldest Australian Rules club.’
    • ‘One entrance opened to the north-east, a second to the south, a third to the south-west.’
    • ‘The house's main view is to the south-west, so we are very fortunate in experiencing beautiful sunsets most nights in the summer and early autumn.’
    • ‘Across the road to the south-west was the third circle, about half the size of the great circle.’
    • ‘His finger traced a path to the south-west, navigating mountains and rivers with deceptive ease.’
    • ‘They were going north-east, but when the tide turned, they would sweep back towards the south-west.’
    • ‘A town of 3,600 people, Avaj is close to the top of a high pass through the rugged Nobaran mountains on the main road between Qazvin and Hamedan to the south-west.’
    • ‘The Tanzania-Malawi system includes the crystalline Eastern Arc mountains and volcanic mountains to the south-west.’
    1. 1.1 The compass point corresponding to southwest.
  • 2The southwestern part of a country, region, or town.

    ‘the beach is in the southwest of the island’
    • ‘Geographically, the death rate was highest in the rural south-west, and lowest around the big cities, where many men worked in industries essential to the war effort.’
    • ‘I live in the south-west of England in a small seaside town of approximately 12,000 people.’
    • ‘The south-west has had a lot of land clearing, the centre has not.’
    • ‘The type of rain will match those falls recorded early in April when just such a system brought the first good rains to the south-west and the south.’
    • ‘Last week a team of experts, led by representatives from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, found themselves in the remote south-west of China, alongside some of the country's top botanists.’
    • ‘The south-west of Dublin remains the favoured location for firms seeking industrial property because of its proximity to the country's main roads.’
    • ‘Glastonbury, a small town in the south-west of England, is considered significant by a variety of religious groups and spiritual seekers.’
    • ‘This region is split by the Gironde river, in the south-west of France.’
    • ‘After a bumpy end to our four and a half hour flight to Paphos in the south-west of the island, we were faced with torrential rain, gale force winds and the kind of temperatures we hoped we'd left behind in Ireland.’
    • ‘For three weeks since arriving in Bolivia I'd resisted the lure of the far south-west.’
    • ‘The south-west is also an area of great religious importance.’
    • ‘The south-west remains the dominant area in terms of supply and take-up in the capital, followed by the north-west.’
    • ‘She and her husband moved to the south-west from Largs, where she was a Red Cross nurse, four years ago.’
    • ‘The manufacture of chocolate in France was, historically, associated with the port of Bayonne in the south-west, although other towns now practise this.’
    • ‘As the flight to Christmas Island leaves from Perth, we'd decided to have a few days in the south-west after the Christmas Island trip.’
    • ‘The south-west employs 279,000 people in manufacturing, but is losing an average 7,000 jobs a year.’
    • ‘This orange-gold spirit, made from a blend of white grapes, hails from a small region in the south-west of France.’
    • ‘The south-west's economy continued to grow at an impressive rate in April.’
    • ‘Bucking the trend, however, is Armagnac, France's lesser-known brandy from the Gascony region in the south-west.’
    • ‘The south-west of England is saturated with livestock farmers, and has about 15 to 20 per cent of Britain's livestock.’
    1. 2.1 The southwestern part of the US.
      ‘the desert turtle population in the Southwest’
      • ‘Oh, they have a lot of clout, yes, certainly in my part of the country and in the southwest.’
      • ‘Being an expert in the southwest doesn't make you one in the northeast or midwest.’
      • ‘They do participate in a couple of spring show pig sales and five to six fall sales in the southwest.’
      • ‘People in the American southwest have yet to come to terms with the fact that they live in a desert.’


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

    ‘the southwest tower collapsed in a storm’
    • ‘The black slate wall demarcates the boundary of the site and encloses an internal patio garden on the south-west side, landscaped in a similar Eisenmanesque fashion.’
    • ‘This is the former goods yard on the south-west side of the railway beyond Hellifield station.’
    • ‘Screened with a mat of lashed tree branches that provide shading along the south-west facade, it merges with the surrounding forest and exploits the ambiguity of inside and out.’
    • ‘A new extension linking the city centre with the airport on the south-west side of the bay is currently under construction.’
    • ‘The view from the south-west Ayrshire coast, out over Ailsa Craig and towards Arran, is pretty spectacular on its own.’
    • ‘The site lies on the south-west corner of the city's popular, bustling market square, opposite the fifteenth-century church of St Peter Mancroft.’
    • ‘Staying on the south-west side of the gully, the wreckage begins to thin out near a pair of bollards at a depth of 18m.’
    • ‘Argostoli, on a peninsula along the south-west coast, is the main lively town where locals and tourists gather to shop, eat, drink, hang out and people-watch.’
    • ‘In 1840, a careless clock-repairer left a lighted candle in the south-west tower, burning down the nave roof and leaving the nave, the south west tower and south aisles burned out shells.’
    • ‘The south-west side also has a fully glazed ground floor set back behind pilotis, indicating the location of the most public interface: the day-patient clinic.’
    • ‘Along the south-west coast - Sri Lanka's premier resort region - all contractual and seasonal hotel staff have been laid off.’
    • ‘A two-storey concourse building containing waiting rooms, ticket hall and offices occupies the south-west corner of the site, addressing a new square.’
    • ‘Unless action is taken it is feared there will be flooding at the south-west end of the lake, near the Ornamental Bridge and Cascade.’
    • ‘The terrace is in the sunniest part of the site, so the whole south-west front was given the same treatment: standard sliding glass panels allow all the houses to look over the meadow.’
    • ‘Lying just over 14 km off the extreme south-west coast, Eldey's precipitous cliffs rise to a height of nearly 80 metres.’
    • ‘When winds allow, there is some excellent diving along the south-west corner of the island around to South Ness.’
    • ‘Of this number it has only been possible to reconstruct one entire panel, the fragments of which were found at the foot of the exterior face of the south-west tower.’
    • ‘In south-west districts, where underground water is brackish, salts have surfaced and are cause of concern, as these will burn crops and make cattle fodder injurious to their health.’
    • ‘Follow the one-way system past the parking area at Pendennis Point and back along the south-west side of the point.’
    • ‘Now the plan is to cast two smaller bells to be hung alongside the existing 10 in a modified frame in the south-west tower of the cathedral.’
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the southwest.
      • ‘If a vessel was gripped in the jaws of a south-west gale here, it would be driven onto the beach for the waves to pound to pieces.’
      • ‘The south-west monsoon from May to October brings heavy rain and heavy seas and can restrict diving.’
      • ‘The south-west monsoon, for example, limited the campaigning season to what the Vietnamese described as winter - spring, stretching roughly from October to mid-May.’
      • ‘The moist yet cool south-west airstreams undercut the dry and hot continental air, leading to vigorous and deep convection.’
      • ‘It is another spectacle of the south-west monsoon that I look forward to.’
      • ‘It was a scorching day and there was a light south-west wind when the select group, including two direct descendants of the islanders, disembarked on the rocks at Clashymore natural harbour.’
      • ‘It was more sheltered from the south-west winds, but a dive for experienced divers only.’
      • ‘During the south-west monsoon nothing can be done.’
      • ‘I returned to my hotel to sit at the window and watch the grand son-et-lumière that night, the opening show of the south-west monsoon.’
      • ‘The forecast says that south-west winds will blow away from population centres.’
      • ‘The southwest monsoon has been very weak in the first month of this season.’
      • ‘There is only a four-per cent probability of the south-west monsoons being deficient (rainfall less than 90 per cent).’
      • ‘North-easterlies are the worst winds for this pier; the prevailing south-west wind gives few problems.’
      • ‘There are many shallow bays within the river system, and as the days lengthen, and the strength of the sun increases, the slowly circulating flows of the bays warm up, helped normally by a warm south-west wind.’
      • ‘South to south-west winds will reach 30-40 mph this morning with gusts of 50-70 mph in some coastal areas.’
      • ‘Air filled out the parachute canopy above him and then, swinging on the gentle south-west wind, he landed near St Pancras Church less than two miles away.’
      • ‘Sadly, a strong south-west wind was blowing, so we had to stick to a sheltered site close to the island.’
  • 2Of or denoting the southwestern part of a specified country, region, or town or its inhabitants.

    ‘fishing in southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay area’
    • ‘His features are fine and his skin tone still owes something to living in south-west France rather than southern Scotland.’
    • ‘Culm grassland is a distinctive habitat type which forms on clay soils overlying carboniferous rocks known as Culm Measures, and is restricted to south-west England and south Wales.’
    • ‘This was the most shattering blow of all: Gascony had been English since the twelfth century, and the long-established wine and cloth trades with south-west France were seriously disrupted.’
    • ‘Lourdes, a small town in the Pyrenees in south-west France now attracts five million pilgrims every year from all over the world.’
    • ‘The 16th century palace in south-west London is well known for alleged supernatural activity, but nothing suspicious has been caught on film before.’
    • ‘Unlike the riders you can enjoy the luxury of looking out across much of south-west France and north-east Spain when you eventually reach the summit.’
    • ‘Martin Heidegger was born on 26 September 1889, to a poor Catholic family in the small town of Messkirch in Baden in south-west Germany.’
    • ‘In the south-west United States, ‘xeriscaping’ - landscaping with plants that do not need irrigation - has become an environmental statement.’
    • ‘But they can expect little sympathy from the anti-globalisation protesters, already skirmishing yesterday with the police in south-west France.’
    • ‘Severe damage had already been done across south-west Florida where the storm smashed into land on Friday carrying winds of up to 160 mph.’
    • ‘I have a house near Bordeaux in south-west France.’
    • ‘The quartet's leader, and namesake, was born in 1975 in the town of Pazardzhik, in south-west Bulgaria.’
    • ‘Bansko is 160 km from Sofia in south-west Bulgaria.’
    • ‘After an awful lot of discussion and weighing of alternatives we've decided that our first choice of new location is to be Matlock and south-west Chesterfield, close by the Derbyshire Peak District.’
    • ‘It effortlessly captures the colour and magic of that region of south-west India.’
    • ‘Detectives have used ground-breaking forensic techniques to establish that Adam was from south-west Nigeria between Benin City and Ibadan.’
    • ‘Gusts of wind up to 50 mph are likely across south-west England, Wales and Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘Indeed, there are records of a hurricane hitting south-west Trinidad in 1933, and one even earlier than that.’
    • ‘The location this time is Eskibahce, a coastal town in south-west Anatolia.’
    • ‘Set on 300 acres of forested land on the northern edge of Connemara in the heart of the Delphi Valley in south-west Mayo, the purpose-built resort took almost two years to build.’


  • To or toward the southwest.

    ‘they drove directly southwest’
    • ‘For the hardy the route now heads south-west for a short distance before heading north over the rolling Glenrath Heights, Middle Hill and Hundleshope Heights.’
    • ‘The first site is about three miles southwest of St Malo, the second about four miles west of the community.’
    • ‘The special stage starts at Sadiola in Mali and heads south-west along the Senegalese border.’
    • ‘We lost sight of the craft as it headed southwest in the general direction of Lansing.’
    • ‘After it passes Nanjing, it will move southwest toward the direction away from Beijing.’
    • ‘As it moved out of sight, we had to drive a short distance to be able to see it again, and it was moving southwest.’
    • ‘The ridge can be reached from the track that runs southwest from Loch Gamhna towards Inshriach Forest.’
    • ‘The views south-west are the second best of the walk, over the flatness of the Vale of Pickering to the rise of the Howardian Hills.’
    • ‘We continue our trip southwest through Nova Scotia and come to the town of New Germany.’