Definition of west in English:



  • 1The direction towards the point of the horizon where the sun sets at the equinoxes, on the left-hand side of a person facing north, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction.

    ‘the evening sun glowed from the west’
    ‘a patrol aimed to create a diversion to the west of the city’
    • ‘Developers want to put up a series ultra-modern buildings directly to the west of the train station.’
    • ‘This beguiling little loch lies in the hills to the west of Ashkirk and north of Hawick, nestling between Belmanshaws and the Dod at a height of 320 metres.’
    • ‘The latest advisory said that the hurricane was located 30 or so miles south of Hellshire Point in St Catherine. That's to the west of where we are.’
    • ‘Allithwaite, which lies to the west of Grange, north of Kents Bank, is also close to picturesque Humphrey Head, the tallest limestone cliff in Cumbria.’
    • ‘As for the game room area, it was directly to the west of the swimming pool/shower rooms area.’
    • ‘The ship slowed its turn and headed toward the Timonium, a large quay to the west of the small harbour locked island of Antirrhodus.’
    • ‘We're in Beaumont, which is 15 miles to the west of Port Arthur.’
    • ‘Waterloo has launched major new housing developments to the west of the city, and the undeveloped lands north of campus are soon to become a high technology centre.’
    • ‘Diego Garcia is located to the west of Chagos Trench, which runs north and south.’
    • ‘That said, we didn't know when it struck whether the epicenter was right around us, to the west of us or the east of us or in what direction.’
    • ‘The island, located to the west of the Isle of Mull and just south of neighbouring Coll, is one of the sunniest places in Britain thanks to its exposed location on the Atlantic Ocean.’
    • ‘Flying foxes streamed overhead from the west, heading into town to roost after a night spent feeding in the mountains.’
    • ‘To the west of the gardens was the Place de la Concorde, which from its name sounded like it should have been be a haven of peace and harmony but turned out to be a giant roundabout with a big Egyptian obelisk in the middle.’
    • ‘It will pass to the west of Giggleswick and continue north towards Ingleton.’
    the occident
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    1. 1.1 The compass point corresponding to west.
      • ‘The convention has always been to talk of four directions, or four compass points - north, south, east and west.’
      • ‘It points to every direction on the compass, north, south, east and west… what more do you want.’
      • ‘Poets came from all points of the compass in Cumbria, north, south, east and west - and also from north Lancashire.’
      • ‘Santa Fe sits at seven thousand feet, and the desert dust in the air produces sunset colors that fill the sky, not only in the west, but all around the compass.’
      • ‘Even a primarily north-south flight, such as Chicago to New Orleans, will fall into one direction of the compass or other - east or west.’
      • ‘The four new areas roughly correspond with the north, east, south and west of the city and they will come in to force on April 1.’
  • 2The western part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town.

    ‘it will become windy in the west’
    • ‘In the Vendée region in the west of France there was an uprising which was sparked off by the introduction of conscription in February 1793.’
    • ‘He lives in Jenkins's favourite imaginary town in the west of Scotland, Lunderston, where he is the star player in the local golf club.’
    • ‘In the west, the Western Cordillera consists of a series of mountain chains and valleys or high plateaus.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, a very similar game is played under the name Pidro in Österbotten, which is a Swedish speaking region in the west of Finland.’
    • ‘Monthly fairs were held in most towns in the west, the largest of these being in the months of March and October.’
    • ‘Buddhism would have a western flavour in the west while keeping to the teachings of the Buddha.’
    • ‘At one time just about every town in the west had its Keno parlor.’
    • ‘Much of her recent work focuses on landscape - in particular bog lands and rocky limestone regions of the west of Ireland.’
    • ‘And they were left exposed when the west withdrew from the region subsequently.’
    • ‘For the first two generations, their identity was with the west, and they referred to their region as the Western country.’
    • ‘Our holidays were family affairs - we'd head over to the west of Ireland and take over some little hotel in Salthill, just outside Galway, near where my mother grew up.’
    • ‘There's much more acceptance that to move forward, the country and the people in it are going to have to interact with westerners and with the west.’
    • ‘They were contacted in the streets of several large towns in the west of France.’
    • ‘Most of them were taken to the west to colonize the regions freshly acquired from the Germans.’
    • ‘There had been outbreaks of measles that winter in the Midlands Health Board region and in the west of the country.’
    1. 2.1 Europe and North America seen in contrast to other civilizations.
      ‘Aboriginal religion is closer to the Orient than the West’
    2. 2.2historical The non-Communist states of Europe and North America, contrasted with the former Communist states of eastern Europe.
      ‘Mr Yeltsin was seen by the West as the driving force behind market reforms’
      • ‘While Africa has burgeoning numbers, it is the church in the west's money which has helped to support them.’
      • ‘The enmity that existed between China and the west after 1949, was not apparent during the war.’
      • ‘The monastic movement began in the Christian east, soon spreading to the west.’
      • ‘The following year he defected to the west.’
      • ‘Why won't I use western tech even though it has been built upon the knowledge that got transferred to west from Muslims?’
      • ‘They are in no mood to take lessons, moral or otherwise, from the west.’
      • ‘In the west women have been encouraged through feminism to ' invite ' the state in to replace their so-called oppressors - their husbands.’
      • ‘At the moment the main focus of international discussions about Iran, its future and its relations with the west, is the nuclear question.’
    3. 2.3 The western part of the United States, especially the states west of the Mississippi.
      • ‘As for operations in the west, Grant slipped south of Vicksburg and crossed to the east bank of the Mississippi river.’
      • ‘Haughton ultimately concludes that training and the failure to adapt essentially Napoleonic tactics to the tactical circumstances that pertained in the west doomed the Army of Tennessee to failure.’
  • 3Bridge
    as name The player sitting to the right of North and partnering East.

    ‘West butts in with a bid of three spades’
    • ‘West would follow with a higher card and East would then have played two trumps to West's one.’
    • ‘East and West have no more sevens or tens to play, so North has beaten off the attack.’


  • 1attributive Lying towards, near, or facing the west.

    ‘the west coast’
    • ‘It is located among the Sporades group of islands in The Aegean Sea near the west coast of Turkey.’
    • ‘We opted for Norway, visiting for a week in early August, at a centre near Kristiansund on the west coast.’
    • ‘Those in search of ancient history veer more towards Paphos on the west coast to view the wonderful mosaics.’
    • ‘Skies were clear over South Sligo and East Mayo as skeins of wild geese winged their way towards the west coast.’
    • ‘On the 5th February 1918 the convoy steamed towards the west coast of Scotland and began to turn into the North Channel.’
    • ‘The plane, discovered off the west coast near Oban by Royal Navy minesweepers, is a world war two Catalina.’
    western, westerly, westwardly, occidental
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    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the west.
      ‘the formation is caused by the prevalent west winds’
      • ‘The west wind from the center was the hot desert wind, too hot to stand and talk in.’
      • ‘A west wind blew stiff and steady all morning, so I never really warmed up.’
      • ‘The strong west wind off the sea maliciously whipped their cloaks around their bodies, making it difficult to walk.’
      • ‘A west wind blows biting flies out of the dunes and they build up at the water's edge.’
      • ‘Although not actually showing the birth of Venus it shows her landing on the island of Cyprus, having been blown there by the west wind on a shell, waiting to meet her and cover her nakedness is one of her handmaidens.’
  • 2Of or denoting the western part of a specified area, city, or country or its inhabitants.

    ‘West Africa’
    • ‘Located in the city's west Hongqiao area, the hotel is in a forest of several hundred camphors, pines and maidenhair trees - a green oasis in a metropolis.’
    • ‘In 1996, she was appointed superintendent and given charge of the busy Lucan area of west Dublin.’
    • ‘The west Cork area was the only Garda division in Cork which reported a drop in the number of arrests for drink-driving.’
    • ‘Inspector Graham Dodd, who covers the west area of Stockport, attended the meeting to listen to the residents' problems.’
    • ‘The base is an enclosed courtyard in the west suburb of the city where over 40 police dogs are kept and trained.’
    • ‘Their study of four rural development areas found that west Cork came more than 10 points clear of the national average.’
    • ‘During the last year across the west Hampshire area over 30 drug-related arrests were made and three cannabis factories closed as a result.’
    • ‘The same cannot be said about the scenic west Sligo area of Skreen, which is experiencing the warmth of growth.’
    • ‘Householders living in one of the most run-down areas of west Hull are being offered deals worth tens of thousands of pounds to help them move.’
    • ‘The men had lived together since moving to the city from west London in September this year.’
    • ‘To the peoples of the west Nordic and arctic areas, hunting is a question of survival as well as an ancient cultural heritage.’
    • ‘‘That growth,’ said city spokeswoman Sandy Webster, ‘will be absorbed in two areas - city centre and west Richmond’.’
    • ‘People living in this area of west Limerick remain concerned at the continued health difficulties experienced by people and animals.’
    • ‘The woman, who lives in the west Clacton area, lost her 6-month-old daughter to cot death.’
    • ‘Thousands of young buyers in areas such as west Dublin have their computer industry jobs to thank for getting on the first rung of the property ladder.’
    western, westerly, westwardly, occidental
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  • To or towards the west.

    ‘he faced west and watched the sunset’
    ‘the accident happened a mile west of Bowes’
    • ‘Turning west we climbed into the hills, heading for Delphi.’
    • ‘Looking out over to the west this evening I watched the cloudscape lighting up in the distance, reflecting an electrical storm too far away to see.’
    • ‘From my house in Heretaunga, my favourite trail was across the road and west a few blocks until the suburban houses gave way to paddocks, the crossing of which lead down to the river bed.’
    • ‘That course shows a path moving to the west of the planned course until it is some 2 miles to the west and so heading straight for the Salmedina Bank.’
    • ‘The Liberian capital of Monrovia cradles the north Atlantic Ocean and aptly looks west towards the United States of America.’
    • ‘Beyond Cape Town to the west lie the winelands, one of the first areas to be settled by Europeans when they arrived in South Africa.’
    • ‘When the railway quietly gave way to highways and jets, what formerly was a major stopping point heading west became a town without a purpose.’
    • ‘To the west we can see the Campsie hills, Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Ben Ledi (this view features on the Archives banner).’
    to the west, westward, westwards, westwardly
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  • go west

    • informal Be killed or lost; meet with disaster.

      ‘£200 million went west in an unprecedented gambling spree’
      • ‘Perhaps a million dollars has gone west through failure to specify contracts properly in the first place, failure to supervise them, and failure to check that the children are actually registered and attending, or that they even exist.’
      • ‘And when they showed up at Newlands yesterday without Geordan Murphy - down with a chest infection - their chances of retrieval went west.’
      • ‘The hallmark of the Munster team for example is their capacity for calm when things are going west.’
      • ‘Sorry, but the server has gone west for some reason.’
      • ‘Some residents fear that the rest of the shops in the village will go west once traffic calming measures have been installed on Bolling Road, banishing passing trade from the area.’
      • ‘So the food wasn't the best, and the service almost immediately went west.’
      • ‘Then politicians came and the project went west.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German west, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hesperos, Latin vesper ‘evening’.