[ suh-wee-toh, -wey- ]

  1. a group of townships in northeastern South Africa, southwest 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).

Words Nearby Soweto Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Soweto in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Soweto


/ (səˈwɛtəʊ, -ˈweɪtəʊ) /

  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)

Origin of 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

Cultural definitions for Soweto


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

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

Notes for Soweto

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.