Definition of south in English:



usually the south
  • 1The direction towards the point of the horizon 90° clockwise from east, or the point on the horizon itself.

    ‘the breeze came from the south’
    ‘they trade with the countries to the south’
    • ‘However, they did not realise the container was going directly to the south of Ireland, a trip that would normally take 42 hours.’
    • ‘She turned to the south, the direction from which the noise had come.’
    • ‘Directly to the south is a covered loggia with an outdoor fireplace.’
    • ‘It turned and began to head in a direct line to the south.’
    • ‘Today the small spring branch that drains the limestone hills to the south is routed directly to the river.’
    • ‘They apparently walked to the south in the direction of Pakistan and at around 6am were approached by soldiers from a nearby army post.’
    • ‘And when I moved in a particular direction, this time to the south and east, it shone out like a light.’
    • ‘To date, we have recorded aftershocks over a broad region, primarily extending to the south and east of the epicenter.’
    • ‘The vineyards lie in the valleys sandwiched between the mountains of western Otago and the hills to the south and east.’
    • ‘To the south, west, and east it is bordered by Indian states; to the north lies Tibet.’
    • ‘To the south, San Carlos climbs upwards towards the central mountains.’
    • ‘The site is open to the north, east and west, with homes to the south.’
    • ‘The church adjoins narrow cobbled alleyways to the south, but hideous seventies offices to east and west.’
    • ‘The Atlantic lies to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the south and east.’
    • ‘West Belfast is located on hills to the west and north; therefore the main view is to the south and to the east.’
    • ‘The site is bordered to the north by Duval Street, to the east by Julia Street, to the south by Adams Street and to the west by Broad Street.’
    • ‘It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the east, Kenya to the south, and the Sudan to the west.’
    • ‘It shares a border with Colombia to the west, with Brazil to the south, and with Guyana to the east.’
    • ‘Particularly badly affected were those coming into town from the south.’
    • ‘The new landmark is on the roundabout that marks the entrance to the Perthshire town from the south.’
    1. 1.1The compass point corresponding to south.
      • ‘For example, if the compass reads south as you face the office's front door, then the back part of the room is the north section, the left is east, and the right is west.’
      • ‘The only point left on the compass to follow was south.’
      • ‘It points to every direction on the compass: north, south, east and west.’
  • 2The southern part of the world or of a specified country, region, or town.

    ‘he was staying in the south of France’
    • ‘Many of the displaced people came from the Gash Barka and Debub regions in the south - the breadbasket of Eritrea.’
    • ‘They will visit homes in the south of the town to issue leaflets and offer advice, and will also be on patrol in Knaresborough and Ripon.’
    • ‘They seem to turn up in every major town in the south of England.’
    • ‘One place that's been the site of several movies is a desert town in the south of Tunisia.’
    • ‘Monica moved from Bangladesh to Bolton when she was just three and a half years old and her parents still live in the south of the town.’
    • ‘I was walking around my mother's home town in the south of England with my boyfriend when I walked into a shop.’
    • ‘It all started just after I got off a train in the middle of some noname dark town in the south of France.’
    • ‘They will be spending six weeks in two different towns in the south of the country.’
    • ‘It's just new to regions outside of the south where it originates.’
    • ‘He lived most of his life in Morocco which was in close contact with al-Andalus, or Andalusia, which was the Arab controlled region in the south of Spain.’
    • ‘Most recently, the alluvial gem gravels of the Songea and Tunduru regions in the south have been productive.’
    • ‘And even in the south there remained regions, such as the Wicklow uplands, which were still Gaelic in social complexion.’
    • ‘The entire port town in the south of India prays and waits to rejoice in the company of this talented, little cricket family.’
    • ‘Over 80 percent of Gabon is tropical rain forest, with a plateau region in the south.’
    • ‘The Dinka inhabit a vast region in the south of the Sudan that forms a seasonal swampland when the Nile River floods.’
    • ‘Menerbes is a small town in the south of France, very near the Spanish border.’
    • ‘There is still a difference between the north, the central region, and the south.’
    • ‘Ethiopian police killed at least 12 people while trying to disperse a demonstration by peasants in a regional capital in the south of the country.’
    • ‘I once went to stay in a town in the American south with a girlfriend.’
    • ‘Other members of the 2,500-strong group live in Arad and Mitzpeh Ramon, other towns in Israel's south.’
    1. 2.1usually the SouthThe southern part of England.
      ‘his stock acquired a reputation for excellence, especially in the midlands and the south’
    2. 2.2usually the SouthThe southern states of the United States.
      ‘seven of the Democrats who voted in favour were from the South’
    3. 2.3usually the SouthThe less industrialized and economically advanced nations of the world.
      ‘our economic changes are matched by the alternation of democratic and authoritarian regimes in the south’
  • 3

    (also South)
    as name The player sitting opposite and partnering North.

    ‘South's hand did not look right for a rebid in no trumps’
    • ‘South plays a low Diamond which West must win.’
    • ‘South plays the winning King of Diamonds, ruffs a Diamond, and plays three rounds of Spades ending in the dummy.’


  • 1Lying towards, near, or facing the south.

    ‘the south coast’
    • ‘Epsom and Ewell's historians assume that he would have found it hard to maintain course and so could not land at any of the airfields near the south coast.’
    • ‘Last March, near the south coast of England town of Eastbourne, a body washed ashore.’
    • ‘Ascot has royalty, Goodwood offers glorious views towards England's south coast, but, for sheer style and panache, Longchamp is peerless.’
    • ‘Peter reports on what could turn out to be significant prehistoric remains revealed by a forest fire near the south coast of France, in the Languedoc’
    • ‘He kept looking back toward the south coast of England until eventually it slowly disappeared over the horizon.’
    • ‘We are also off to the south coast today for a week's paddling near Hastings.’
    • ‘They were running down the steps into the dungeon nearest the south wall.’
    • ‘The group headed towards the south wing where all their rooms were located.’
    • ‘The meeting room was on the top floor near the south side of the building.’
    • ‘It coasted to a halt in a vacant parking space near the south end of the lot.’
    • ‘They made their way towards the south entrance of the fairgrounds.’
    • ‘The sculpture was rediscovered in 1723 upside down near the south porch of the church, where it had been used as a step.’
    • ‘They strolled down a beaten pathway to a large clearing near the south exit to the compound.’
    • ‘However, there is a massive rock, on the edge of the channel, near the south shore.’
    • ‘The park held an overly large lake near the south end that was always nice to swim in.’
    • ‘Adelaide is about 750 miles west of Sydney on the south coast.’
    • ‘Having used this service for more than 30 years, I know how much it is a lifeline for many older people who wish to travel to the south coast to visit relatives, etc.’
    • ‘An old male beached on the south coast in January 1992.’
    • ‘But the good thing about having a fellow jet-lag sufferer on the south coast is that you can chat on the phone at 4am, and write blog posts as the sun comes up.’
    • ‘The south slope is more gentle and ends in a marshy bay.’
    1. 1.1(of a wind) blowing from the south.
      • ‘A south wind blew misty rain into his eyes as the gray walls of the city rose before him.’
      • ‘These south winds may blow long enough to take a portion of the oil northward and into the current that would carry it along Spain's north coast.’
      • ‘And one of the reasons that the water stood up high the last couple of days is we had a pretty strong south wind off the water.’
      • ‘Seventy kilometers out from Ivanhoe it is almost six o'clock, and the lift turns off like a light switch as we work our way to the north northwest in a twenty mph south wind.’
      • ‘The weather was hot, and a south wind grew steadily all day.’
      • ‘The air was luminous; a faint south wind murmured in the pine tops.’
      • ‘They were heading away from the rising south wind which might even be helpful to their passage as it would be behind them giving them lift and speed.’
      • ‘On some days there will be a 10 to 15 mph south wind, and we have many airport landing zones to the north.’
      • ‘We will be moving faster now, heading into the chop of a south wind and twilight has passed into dark.’
      • ‘I felt drawn to sit by the river awhile, the unseasonably south wind cool on my cheek.’
      • ‘When the wind comes from the north, the ice is carried away, sometimes as far as the horizon, but a south wind presses the ice up against the shore.’
  • 2Of or denoting the southern part of an area, city, or country or its inhabitants.

    ‘South America’
    • ‘Consequently large areas of west and south Sligo have benefited from a scheme which has especially helped the elderly and the vulnerable.’
    • ‘The residents claim it will substantially increase noise pollution in the south Fingal area and interfere with local schools.’
    • ‘Ambulance cover is being removed from rural areas of south Wiltshire, leaving many communities at risk, a company boss claimed this week.’
    • ‘Our study took place in inner city practices in south London within the health authority area of Lambeth, Southwick, and Lewisham.’
    • ‘However, hours before the line was repaired, several areas in south Trinidad experienced power outages.’
    • ‘Few live in the mainly working-class areas of south Madrid, where the suburban trains targeted came from.’
    • ‘The candidates will surely be hearing about all these issues over the next ten weeks as they tour the south Mayo area.’
    • ‘Surrounding areas across south Manchester soon came to a standstill as diverted traffic clogged the streets.’
    • ‘A further nine men were arrested in another major operation at two properties in the Tooting area of south London.’
    • ‘However, two more car-jackings were carried out in the south Manchester area earlier this week.’
    • ‘Officers hope the new pictures will jog the memory of someone in the south Essex area who has come into contact with the goods.’
    • ‘These squads are the result of the summer camps and help to promote hurling in south Kildare area.’
    • ‘Bradford Council said the work was essential to create more jobs and regenerate the south Bradford area.’
    • ‘The area has been made the highest priority in major plans for some of the most neglected areas in south Manchester.’
    • ‘The money will be used to enhance provisions at locations around the south Armagh area.’
    • ‘Any major redevelopment of the south Sutton area is of paramount importance to all those who reside in the area.’
    • ‘It is one of a group of grand, five-storey Victorian mansions that form a square in a bad area of south London.’
    • ‘And the picturesque Coate area of south Swindon will be one of the sites up for discussion.’
    • ‘Demand for space in south Dublin remains strong.’
    • ‘Passengers were evacuated from the Northern Line station in south London.’
    southern, southerly, southwardly, meridional, Antarctic, polar
    View synonyms


  • 1To or towards the south.

    ‘they journeyed south along the valley’
    ‘the village is a few miles south of Cambridge’
    • ‘The team however did themselves and their many supporters who made the long trek south proud and they lost nothing in defeat against a well honed local challenge.’
    • ‘As I was driving south I saw a sign for Providence Canyon and eventually a sign for Kolomoki Mounds State Park.’
    • ‘The plan had been to drive south all morning, stopping off at various orchards and demonstration fields along the way.’
    • ‘When Scotland head south this week for three games in five days, maidens of a different ilk will be on their minds, of course.’
    • ‘Perhaps, young and experienced as they are, they fly south every time it feels a bit like winter.’
    • ‘Their mother, a part-time doctor in Kuujjuaq, will also head south this summer.’
    • ‘The team, in existence for just three years, travelled south confident that they would be capable of making the difference between the teams count.’
    • ‘Then we drove the 200 km south to get to Tauranga.’
    • ‘Once the buyers, predominantly English farmers, had bought their herds the common practice was to hire some local drovers to drive the cattle south into England.’
    • ‘The company rides towards the wood, then veers south, parallel to the edge of the trees.’
    • ‘The Spring River forms in Howell County of southcentral Missouri just a few miles south of the Eleven Point River and near the Mark Twain National Forest, then flows southward into Arkansas at Mammoth Springs in Fulton County.’
    • ‘After the gathering as I journeyed south to Kilkeel I listened to Rosie’s experiences over the last year, ones that have been characterised by so much pain, conflict and pressure.’
    to the south, southward, southwards, southwardly
    View synonyms
  • 2south ofBelow (a particular amount, cost, etc.)

    ‘media spending last year was south of $1 million’


[no object]
  • 1Move towards the south.

    ‘the wind southed a point or two’
    1. 1.1(of a celestial object) cross the meridian.


    go south
    North American informal
    • Fall in value, deteriorate, or fail.

      ‘Lazio saw his poll numbers go south almost immediately’
      • ‘Throughout my career, the Air Force was trying to help me develop habit patterns that I could fall back on when routine flights went south.’
      • ‘At the same time, foreign investors have fallen out of love with equities and overseas markets have gone south.’
      • ‘The pact would have worked had the members been willing to cut public expenditure in good times to finance the inevitable budget deficits when business went south.’
      • ‘Of course, things went south soon after - the new keyboard didn't work, and a second keyboard didn't work, so they had to give me a new machine.’
      • ‘Well, he did invest in some grand ventures, but the market went south on him, along with the Dow Jones index.’
      • ‘Before his lobbying operation went south, he was an occasional guest at the White House.’
      • ‘But now that the romance has gone south, what's an equally dramatic way to get rid of the clothes, gifts, and jewelry that remind you of your hated ex?’
      • ‘The case would have gone south very fast for the prosecution if they put her on the stand and she didn't hold up.’
      • ‘Well, it seems that suddenly everybody is talking about the economy going south.’
      • ‘I think if you expect loyalty from a television network after it goes south you're sadly mistaken.’
    south by east (or west)
    • Between south and south-south-east (or south-south-west).

      • ‘The original Malvern house, dating from the seventeenth century, was situated one mile south by east from the Crew house.’
      • ‘It therefore very soon starts to bend slightly eastwards running south, south by east, south east by east then south east.’
      • ‘From Parkerville the course of the river is south by east, receiving on its way the waters of Haun Creek and Crooked Creek, which enter it from the south and about a mile apart.’
      • ‘The Gamka or Leuwe River runs through the Swarte Bergen south by east at the Camdous Berg where the Oliphants River flows through the Rode Berg and into the Gourits or Canna River.’
      • ‘The village is small, and stands about 6 miles east of Driffield, 2 ½ miles south by east of Lowthorpe station.’
    down south
    • To or in the south of a country.

      ‘he has a lovely home down south’
      • ‘We have also had a lot of business from down south and some international work, and our cost base is certainly better than anyone in London.’
      • ‘The restructuring will result in 90 new jobs in Fife although there will be 200 job losses down south.’
      • ‘A waiting list has already been drawn up, with interest coming from down south as well as other parts of the Yorkshire region.’
      • ‘We are beginning to see some innovation in education down south, although whether that is a good or bad thing is still to be determined.’
      • ‘After a decade of separation he has been reunited with his children, Mark and Karen, and plans to move down south to live near them.’
      • ‘I think I might become one of those odious Queenslanders who defect down south!’
      • ‘There was a 7.1 earthquake down south last week, and a quick sharp jolt here on Saturday night.’
      • ‘I'm not sure what happened to them but they went everywhere with me, even across the border down south.’
      • ‘He was accepted, but then we found out we were moving down south.’
      • ‘My husband is in the process of sailing a 42 foot yacht up to Scotland from down south, so the summer will be spent on the west coast.’


Old English sūth, of Germanic origin; related to Low German sud.