• One of the four principal compass points, specifically 270°, conventionally directed to the left on maps; the direction of the setting sun at an equinox, abbreviated as W.
  • The western region or area; the inhabitants thereof.
  • In a church: the direction of the gallery, opposite to the altar, and opposite to the direction faced by the priest when celebrating ad orientem.


  • Situated or lying in or toward the west; westward.
  • Of wind: from the west.
  • Of or pertaining to the west; western.
  • From the West; occidental.
  • Designating, or situated in, the liturgical west, that part of a church which is opposite to, and farthest from, the part containing the chancel.



  • To move to the west; (of the sun) to set.


  • From Middle English west, from Old English west, from Proto-Germanic *westrą. Cognate with Scots wast, Saterland Frisian Wääste, West Frisian west, Dutch west, German West, Danish vest. Cognate also with Old French west, French ouest, Spanish oeste, Catalan oest, Galician oeste, Italian ovest (all ultimately borrowings of the English word). Compare also Latin vesper.

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