Definition of western in English:



  • 1attributive Situated in the west, or directed towards or facing the west.

    ‘there will be showers in some western areas’
    • ‘I walk toward a secluded, western corner of the city, where four such skyscrapers stand at each corner of a block.’
    • ‘Makah Indian village situated on the western tip of the Olympic Peninsula on the coast of Washington State.’
    • ‘The party of four was on the western side of the Black Valley when the accident occurred.’
    • ‘They believe the dead travel to the west; so all graves are on the western side of the Nile.’
    • ‘Erosion would have removed the thrust on the uplifted western side.’
    • ‘During this period, the authority of the jarls spread south down the western sea route towards Dublin.’
    • ‘To date, the infection appears to be contained to an area on the western edge of the forest.’
    • ‘The western side of the country is a great grass growing and livestock area which is the envy of many.’
    • ‘The snow has provided a light cover from the resort to Mt Blowhard on the western side of the mountain.’
    • ‘Initially, work was at Pin Hole Cave, the entrance to which lies towards the western end of the north side of the gorge.’
    • ‘Towards the western end of the ramparts there is an obvious break where a path leads through rocky portals to gain a grassy bealach.’
    • ‘The bulk of rubbish washed ashore on this stretch of beach has been dumped over the cliffs on the western side of the bay.’
    • ‘Fifteen districts, all of them lying in western areas of the state have been declared drought hit.’
    • ‘We left as the sun was drifting into the western horizon and headed towards Chola country.’
    westerly, westwardly, occidental
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a wind) blowing from the west.
  • 2Living in or originating from the West, in particular Europe or the United States.

    ‘Western society’
    • ‘People in Eastern Europe increasingly want to try Western tastes and variety in food.’
    • ‘They have a massive amount of funding and support from the Western world, principally America, but also Europe.’
    • ‘These images are easy to find in Govan, as in every other city in Britain, Europe and very probably the Western world.’
    • ‘The resemblance to Western European customs is striking and has similar roots.’
    • ‘Is it much different in this country, or indeed, in most Western democracies?’
    • ‘However, this happy juxtaposition of Eastern style and Western living has not always been so effortless.’
    • ‘It is a nice change of pace from what have normally seen from Western Europeans during the last year and a half.’
    • ‘Every Western democracy is signed up to the 1951 United Nations convention on refugees.’
    • ‘A Western European car manufacturer, who buys large quantities of steel, may take a different view.’
    • ‘Though Western in origin, it is not a Western good but a human good.’
    • ‘Eastern Europe is now undergoing a marked renaissance in the Western European tourist industry.’
    • ‘This is no longer the case in most Western European countries and the United States.’
    • ‘In Western societies not conformity but variety and relaxed living are now in fashion.’
    • ‘The results of the Depression in America and Europe are familiar enough to Western readers.’
    • ‘The basic fact is that Western European countries no longer want to fight each other.’
    1. 2.1 Relating to or characteristic of the West or its inhabitants.
      ‘the history of Western art’
      • ‘It did not matter that the tie was invented in eastern Europe and so was not specifically a Western fashion.’
      • ‘When western medicine fails, many try ancient eastern or Oriental practices, such as massage or acupuncture.’
      • ‘The background is resource competition that is reshaping western policy towards West Africa.’
      • ‘The claim by Western experts that palmistry originated in India is not surprising.’
      • ‘This is characteristic of most Western European music and some music from other cultures.’
      • ‘In most Western cultures, breakfast is often heralded as the most important meal of the day.’
      • ‘There's written text input too, with Kanji and Western character recognition.’
      • ‘Program management and the disciplines associated with it continue to be a problem in my opinion in most Western cultures.’
      • ‘The demographic trend throughout the western world is towards an ageing population.’
      • ‘As Japan opened up to the west, western images and themes crept into their design.’
      • ‘In its 1945 White Paper, Canada was the first western country to adopt Keynesianism formally as state policy.’
    2. 2.2historical Of or originating from the non-Communist states of Europe and North America in contrast to the Eastern bloc.
      ‘the President threatened to end Western aid for an oil pipeline in Siberia’
      • ‘The process was shaped by military competition between the Eastern and Western ruling classes.’
      • ‘One of five brothers and sisters, he was born in Craigmillar, one of western Europe's poorest areas.’
      • ‘He was usually an ally and sometimes an inspiration to new governments in Western and Eastern Europe.’
      • ‘This is why we have seen so many divisions and contradictions within the Western establishment on this issue.’
      • ‘It has also been a bridge of reconciliation between Western and Eastern Europe.’


  • A film, television drama, or novel about cowboys in western North America, set especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    • ‘He said you could appreciate directors who worked in gangster films, war films, westerns, etc.’
    • ‘In his spare time he enjoyed reading, particularly westerns and thrillers.’
    • ‘Early westerns, for example, put black hats on the bad guys and white hats on the good guys to prepare viewers for a picture's final shootout.’
    • ‘He went to bed early and read westerns or thrillers until the wee hours.’
    • ‘The nod to commerciality is most obvious in the film's ending, one that is typical of hundreds of Hollywood westerns.’
    • ‘The film looks a bit washed-out, as many westerns do, but otherwise there is little to complain about.’
    • ‘The plot takes place many years after the events of his previous westerns, this time at the turn of the Twentieth Century.’
    • ‘Finally, everyone seems to think this movie is one of the best westerns around and a truly psychological film noir.’
    • ‘For Peckinpah, the film was a stark departure from his blood-drenched action westerns.’
    • ‘She did melodramas, musicals, romantic comedies, westerns, and horror films.’
    • ‘In popular books and film then, westerns were a staple: there were a lot of them every year and so they provided a wide, deep genre pool to play in and to invent with.’
    • ‘In the late Seventies and Eighties the production of westerns declined to the point that several critics affirmed the death of the genre.’
    • ‘The popularity of the spaghetti western faded in the late 1970s just as did the interest in westerns generally.’
    • ‘To him, the point seemed obvious, for all films - gangsters, westerns, comedies - relied on action.’
    • ‘They looked like exactly what they were - two young television actors who had no experience in westerns whatsoever.’
    • ‘These changes first appeared, and were most pronounced, in a collection of westerns produced by Italians and shot in Spain and Italy.’


Old English westerne (see west, -ern).