Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The direction along a meridian 90° clockwise from east; the direction to the right of sunrise.
  • noun The cardinal point on the mariner's compass 180° clockwise from due north and directly opposite north.
  • noun An area or region lying in the south.
  • noun The southern part of the earth.
  • noun The set of developing nations of the world, largely located to the south of the developed nations of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • noun The southern part of a region or country.
  • noun The southern part of the United States, especially the states that fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.
  • adjective To, toward, of, facing, or in the south.
  • adjective Originating in or coming from the south.
  • adverb In, from, or toward the south.
  • adverb Slang Into a worse or inferior condition, as of decreased value.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Toward, to, or at the south; of winds, from the south.
  • To move or veer toward the south.
  • In astronomy, to cross the meridian of a place: as, the moon souths at nine.
  • noun That one of the four cardinal points of the compass which is directly opposite to the north, and is on the left when one faces in the direction of the setting sun (west). Abbreviated S.
  • noun The region, tract, country, or locality lying opposite to the north, or lying toward the south pole from some other region; in the broadest and most general sense, in the northern hemisphere, the tropics or subtropical regions; in Europe, the Mediterranean region, often with reference to the African or Asiatic coast.
  • noun Specifically In United States history and politics, the Southern States (which see, under state).
  • noun The wind that blows from the south.
  • noun Eccles., the side of a church that is on the right hand of one who faces the altar or high altar. See east, 1, and epistle.
  • Being in the south; situated in the south, or in a southern direction from the point of observation; lying toward the south; pertaining to the south; proceeding from the south.
  • Eccles., situated at or near that side of a church which is to the right of one facing the altar or high altar.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That one of the four cardinal points directly opposite to the north; the region or direction to the right or direction to the right of a person who faces the east.
  • noun A country, region, or place situated farther to the south than another; the southern section of a country.
  • noun Specifically: That part of the United States which is south of Mason and Dixon's line. See under Line.
  • noun obsolete The wind from the south.
  • adjective Lying toward the south; situated at the south, or in a southern direction from the point of observation or reckoning; proceeding toward the south, or coming from the south; blowing from the south; southern.
  • adjective (Bot.) See Yaupon.
  • adverb Toward the south; southward.
  • adverb From the south.
  • intransitive verb To turn or move toward the south; to veer toward the south.
  • intransitive verb (Astron.) To come to the meridian; to cross the north and south line; -- said chiefly of the moon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One of the four major compass points, specifically 180°, directed toward the South Pole, and conventionally downwards on a map.
  • adjective Toward the south; southward.
  • adjective meteorology Of wind, from the south.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to the south; southern.
  • adjective Pertaining to the part of a corridor used by southbound traffic.
  • adverb Toward the south; southward.
  • adverb Downward.
  • adverb In an adverse direction or trend.
  • adverb meteorology Of wind, from the south.
  • verb To turn or move toward the south; to veer toward the south.
  • verb astronomy To come to the meridian; to cross the north and south line.

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

  • noun the cardinal compass point that is at 180 degrees
  • noun the southern states that seceded from the United States in 1861
  • adjective situated in or facing or moving toward or coming from the south
  • adverb in a southern direction
  • noun the region of the United States lying to the south of the Mason-Dixon line
  • noun the direction corresponding to the southward cardinal compass point

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English sūth; see sāwel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English sūþ, from Proto-Germanic *sunþaz. Compare West Frisian súd, Dutch zuid, German Süd, Danish syd.

Examples

  • Remote parts of the South: While most of the focus has been on NOLA, I am more concerned about the rest of the south.

    Katrina: Big Picture in Brief

  • Remote parts of the South: While most of the focus has been on NOLA, I am more concerned about the rest of the south.

    Archive 2005-08-28

  • Under South African law, arms cannot be sold to Yemen because of this year's fighting between north and south.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • South of the equator the recurrence of the seasons is the exact reverse of their recurrence north of the equator, and therefore the breeding season of the birds is in the autumn instead of the spring; the flight from winter cold occurs in the spring instead of in the autumn, and is toward the north instead of toward the south.

    Our Bird Comrades

  • And the act of Parliament makes _this south side_ from this same bay along those highlands, and it must _inevitably run west_ or _it is no south_ boundary.

    A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents Volume 3, part 2: Martin Van Buren

  • At an event on Friday, former South African President Thabo Mbeki - the African Union's mediator on Sudan - said the vote marks the "true emancipation" of the people of the south.

    BBC News - Home

  • In the upper middle class South African household, ages 18 - 24 there is hardly a difference to be noticed in behaviour north and south.

    Muti

  • Support, encourage and strengthen your own South Sudanese hotels and products, because the money is going to remain in south.

    undefined

  • In the upper middle class South African household, ages 18 - 24 there is hardly a difference to be noticed in behaviour north and south.

    Muti

  • The South Shields MP visited friends in Charlton, south

    Mirror.co.uk - News

Comments

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  • From Hardy's Plena Timoris:

    'The moon in its southing directly blent

    Its silver with their environment.'

    November 3, 2007

  • One of the most ridiculous collections of WeirdNet defs I have yet seen.

    August 20, 2008

  • I don't know, most of the WordNet defs tend to make a lot of sense. The southeast and southwest ones are kind of confusing, but the rest seem valid.

    August 21, 2008

  • "a demarcated area of the Earth" and "a point or extent in space" do my head in. That's even before "the spatial relation between something and the course along which it points or moves". Or the USA-centric 'main' definition ... should dictionaries have to ape cultural myopia, real or perceived?

    As you say there are these ones: "situated in or oriented toward the southeast" ... 6 of them!

    August 21, 2008

  • I would venture the guess that this particular dictionary was created by and perhaps mostly for Americans, and the usage in which they most often encounter the word in reading, etc. (especially when it's capitalized) is the region rather than the cardinal direction. Just sayin'.

    August 21, 2008

  • I also note that WeirdNet didn't include a usage of South I have heard a few times, that is as a term of reference to the underdeveloped world.

    August 21, 2008

  • Bizarre! I never heard that usage. Where have you seen/heard it?

    August 21, 2008

  • Bilby, when examining the Wordnet page for South, we determine that the U.S. sense of South, that being the southern part of the country, has the highest frequency count. This is due to the frequency found in tagged texts, which simply means that word came up the most often.

    The two you dislike, which don't occur in the WordNet entry linked above, make some sense, "a demarcated area of the Earth" is for when "south" is used to refer to the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, "a point or extent in space" makes sense geometrically, we can talk about the southern part of a shape in several dimensions. Without more information from WordNet, I can't narrow it down further.

    Finally, WordNet is not a dictionary, it is a "lexical database".

    August 22, 2008

  • c_b, I don't know where South with that meaning came from, although it's fairly obvious that it refers to developing countries being largely in the southern hemisphere compared to industrialised countries being mostly in the north. There used to be a magazine about international development titled South though I'm not sure it's still around. The South Centre certainly is:

    "The South Centre (the Centre) is an intergovernmental organization of developing countries established by an Intergovernmental Agreement (Treaty) which came into force on 31 July 1995 with its headquarters in Geneva.

    The South Centre has grown out of the work and experience of the South Commission and its follow-up mechanism, and from recognition of the need for enhanced South-South co-operation. The Report of the South Commission -- emphasized that the South is not well organized at the global level and has thus not been effective in mobilizing its considerable combined expertise and experience, nor its bargaining power.

    The South Centre is therefore intended to meet the need for analysis of development problems and experience, as well as to provide intellectual and policy support required by developing countries for collective and individual action, particularly in the international arena."

    - www.southcentre.org

    September 9, 2008