[ mid-west ]
/ ˈmɪdˈwɛst /
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Also Mid·west·ern. Middle Western.


What Phrases Do You Only Hear In The Midwest?

There are a few words and phrases that these Midwesterners say that maybe the rest of the country doesn't. Here are just a few examples ...

Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of Midwest


Mid·west·ern·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does Midwest mean?

The Midwest is the northern central area of the mainland United States.

Generally, the boundaries of the Midwest are Canada to the north, the Rocky Mountains to the west, the southern borders of Missouri and Kansas to the south, and the Allegheny Mountains to the east. Sometimes the Midwest is thought of as extending to the eastern border of Illinois or Ohio.

The Midwest is one of the United States’ four official regions as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Because the Census Bureau doesn’t divide states when defining regions, it sets Ohio as the Midwest’s eastern border. According to the Census, 12 states are located within the Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Americans themselves often differ in terms of which states they consider to be in the Midwest. Sometimes, states on the fringes, such as Ohio or North Dakota, aren’t considered to be a part of the Midwest.

Adjective forms of Midwest include Midwestern and Middle Western, but Midwest can also be used as an adjective, as in Midwest states. A person from the Midwest can be called a Midwesterner. Much less commonly, it’s called the Middle West.

Example: I always love to travel to the central United States to see the beautiful scenery of the Midwest.

Where does Midwest come from?

The first records of the term Midwest referring to the northern central area of the United States come from around the 1890s. The mid- in Midwest means “middle.” Although the Midwestern states are really in the northern central area of the country, the word west indicates their position in relation to the East Coast (the location of the original 13 U.S. colonies).

The term Midwest is often used in American media that focuses on geographic areas or that analyzes demographics. Especially during an election season, political analysts speculate and observe how the states in the Midwest are going to vote.

Many parts of the Midwest are rural, but it also has many urban and suburban areas. The region is especially known for having rich farmland.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to Midwest?

What are some synonyms for Midwest?

What are some words that share a root or word element with Midwest


What are some words that often get used in discussing Midwest?


How is Midwest used in real life?

Americans use the term Midwest to refer to the north-central region of the country and the states located there. People often debate which states are located in the Midwest.



Try using Midwest!

True or False?

The Midwest stretches from the border of Canada to the north to the border of Mexico to the south.

How to use Midwest in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Midwest


Middle West

/ (ˈmɪdˈwɛst) /

the N central part of the US; the region consisting of the states from Ohio westwards that border on the Great Lakes, often extended to include the upper Mississippi and Missouri valleys
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