General English

  • adjective relating to the west
  • noun the countries in the western part of the world, e.g. Europe and north America


  • adjective referring to areas or regions lying in the west
  • adverb towards the west
  • noun a compass point on the mariner’s compass 270° clockwise from due north and directly opposite east


  • noun one of the four main points of the compass, corresponding to a bearing of 270 degrees or 4800 mils
  • noun an area to the west of your location


  • (written as West)
    a region of a country, as opposed to the East


  • noun one of the points of the compass, the direction of the setting sun

Origin & History of “west”

Etymologically, the west may be the direction in which the sun goes ‘down’. together with German and Dutch west, Swedish väster, and Danish vest, it comes from a prehistoric Germanic *westaz. this in turn was descended from the Indo-European base *wes-, which also produced Latin vesper (source of English vespers) and Greek hesperos ‘evening’ and was related to Sanskrit avas ‘down’. French ouest and Spanish oeste were borrowed from English west, Romanian vest from German west.