[suh-wee-toh, -wey-]
  1. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for soweto

Contemporary Examples of soweto

British Dictionary definitions for soweto


  1. 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 for Soweto

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

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

soweto in Culture


[(suh-wet-oh, suh-way-toh)]

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


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.