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[suh-wee-toh, -wey-] /səˈwi toʊ, -ˈweɪ-/
a group of townships in NE South Africa, SW of and administered by Johannesburg: constructed in the 1950s and early 1960s to provide housing and services for black Africans. 26 sq. mi. (67 sq. km). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Soweto


/səˈwɛtəʊ; -ˈweɪtəʊ/
a contiguous group of Black African townships southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa: the largest purely Black African urban settlement in southern Africa: scene of riots (1976) following protests against the use of Afrikaans in schools for Black African children. Area: 62 sq km (24 sq miles). Pop: 858 649 (2001)
Word Origin
C20: from so(uth) we(st) to(wnship)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Soweto

black African community outside Johannesburg, South Africa, formed from first letters of South Western Townships. Related: Sowetan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Soweto in Culture
Soweto [(suh-wet-oh, suh-way-toh)]

Collective name for a group of townships inhabited by black Africans, located southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Note: Soweto was the site of severe racial violence before the dismantling of apartheid.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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