from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Situated in, toward, or facing the east.
  • adj. Coming from the east: eastern breezes.
  • adj. Native to or growing in the east.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of eastern regions or the East.
  • adj. Of or relating to the Eastern Church.
  • adj. Of or relating to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, facing, situated in, or related to the east
  • adj. blowing from the east; easterly
  • adj. oriental

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Situated or dwelling in the east; oriental
  • adj. Going toward the east, or in the direction of east.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Situated toward the east or on the part toward the east: as, the eastern side of a town or church; the eastern shore of a bay.
  • Going toward the east, or in the direction of east: as, an eastern route.
  • Coming from the east; easterly.
  • Of or pertaining to the east; Oriental; being or occurring in the east: as, eastern countries; eastern manners; an eastern tour.
  • n. A person living in or belonging to the eastern part of a country or region; specifically, one belonging to one of the countries lying east of Europe; an Oriental.
  • n. [capitalized] A member of the orthodox Oriental or Greek Church: in contradistinction from a Latin or Western.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. lying toward or situated in the east
  • adj. from the east; used especially of winds
  • adj. of or characteristic of eastern regions of the United States
  • adj. relating to or characteristic of regions of eastern parts of the world
  • adj. lying in or toward the east


Middle English estern, from Old English ēasterne; see aus- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English esterne, from Old English ēasterne ("eastern"), from Proto-Germanic *austrōnjaz (“eastern”), from Proto-Indo-European *austero- (“eastern”), from Proto-Indo-European *aus- (“to shine”). Cognate with Old Saxon and Old High German ōstrōni ("eastern"), Old Norse austrœnn ("eastern"). More at east. (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In UK place names eastern sometimes gets changed to Aston (east town). Steeple Aston (Oxfordshire), many other *** Astons and 37 Aston ***s (eg, Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire) are listed in the 2012 AA Greater Britain and Ireland Road Atlas.

    April 3, 2012