Nearby words

  1. soutane,
  2. souteneur,
  3. soutenu,
  4. souter,
  5. souterrain,
  6. south africa,
  7. south african,
  8. south african dutch,
  9. south african republic,
  10. south african tick-bite fever

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- Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for south

British Dictionary definitions for south


/ (saʊθ) /



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


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


/ (saʊθ) /

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


  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



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


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.