Origin of south

before 900; Middle English suth(e), south(e) (adv., adj., and noun), Old English sūth (adv. and adj.); cognate with Old High German sund-
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British Dictionary definitions for south

south

noun

one of the four cardinal points of the compass, at 180° from north and 90° clockwise from east and anticlockwise from west
the direction along a meridian towards the South Pole
the south (often capital) any area lying in or towards the southRelated adjectives: meridional, austral
(usually capital) cards the player or position at the table corresponding to south on the compass

adjective

situated in, moving towards, or facing the south
(esp of the wind) from the south

adverb

in, to, or towards the south
archaic (of the wind) from the south
Symbol: S

Word Origin for south

Old English sūth; related to Old Norse suthr southward, Old High German sundan from the south

South

noun the South

the southern part of England, generally regarded as lying to the south of an imaginary line between the Wash and the Severn
(in the US)
  1. the area approximately south of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River, esp those states south of the Mason-Dixon line that formed the Confederacy during the Civil War
  2. the Confederacy itself
the countries of the world that are not economically and technically advanced

adjective

  1. of or denoting the southern part of a specified country, area, etc
  2. (capital as part of a name)the South Pacific
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

Word Origin and History for south
adv.

Old English suð "southward, to the south, southern, in the south," from Proto-Germanic *sunthaz, perhaps literally "sun-side" (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian suth "southward, in the south," Middle Dutch suut, Dutch zuid, German Süden), and related to base of *sunnon "sun" (see sun (v.)). Old French sur, sud (French sud), Spanish sur, sud are loan-words from Germanic, perhaps from Old Norse suðr.

As an adjective from c.1300; as a noun, "one of the four cardinal points," also "southern region of a country," both late 13c. The Southern states of the U.S. have been collectively called The South since 1779 (in early use this often referred only to Georgia and South Carolina). South country in Britain means the part below the Tweed, in England the part below the Wash, and in Scotland the part below the Forth. South Sea meant "the Mediterranean" (late 14c.) and "the English Channel" (early 15c.) before it came to mean (in plural) "the South Pacific Ocean" (1520s). The nautical coat called a sou'wester (1836) protects the wearer against severe weather, such as a gale out of the southwest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with south

south

see go south.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.