[n., adj., adv. south; v. south, south]
a cardinal point of the compass lying directly opposite north. Abbreviation: S
the direction in which this point lies.
(usually initial capital letter) a region or territory situated in this direction.
the general area south of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, consisting mainly of those states that formed the Confederacy.
lying toward or situated in the south; directed or proceeding toward the south.
coming from the south, as a wind.
to, toward, or in the south.
Informal. into a state of serious decline, loss, or the like: Sales went south during the recession.
verb (used without object)
to turn or move in a southerly direction.
Astronomy. to cross the meridian.

before 900; Middle English suth(e), south(e) (adv., adj., and noun), Old English sūth (adv. and adj.); cognate with Old High German sund- Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
south (saʊθ)
1.  one of the four cardinal points of the compass, at 180° from north and 90° clockwise from east and anticlockwise from west
2.  the direction along a meridian towards the South Pole
3.  (often capital) the south any area lying in or towards the southRelated: meridional, austral
4.  (usually capital) cards the player or position at the table corresponding to south on the compass
5.  situated in, moving towards, or facing the south
6.  (esp of the wind) from the south
7.  in, to, or towards the south
8.  archaic (of the wind) from the south
Related: meridional, austral
[Old English sūth; related to Old Norse suthr southward, Old High German sundan from the south]

South (saʊθ)
1.  the southern part of England, generally regarded as lying to the south of an imaginary line between the Wash and the Severn
2.  in the US
 a.  the area approximately south of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River, esp those states south of the Mason-Dixon line that formed the Confederacy during the Civil War
 b.  the Confederacy itself
3.  the countries of the world that are not economically and technically advanced
4.  a.  of or denoting the southern part of a specified country, area, etc
 b.  (capital as part of a name): the South Pacific

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. suð "southward, in the south," from P.Gmc. *sunthaz (cf. O.S., O.Fris. suth "southward, in the south," M.Du. suut), perhaps related to base of *sunnon "sun," with sense of "the region of the sun." Ger. Süd, Süden are from a Du. pronunciation. O.Fr. sur, sud (Fr. sud), Sp. sur, sud
are loan-words from Gmc., perhaps from O.N. suðr. The Southern states of the U.S. have been collectively called The South since 1779 (though originally this often refered only to Georgia and South Carolina). South country in Britain means the part below the Tweed, in England the part below the Wash, and in Scotland the part below the Forth. The nautical coat called a sou'wester (1836) protects the wearer against severe weather, such as a gale out of the southwest. South Sea meant "the Mediterranean" (late 14c.) and "the English Channel" (early 15c.) before it came to mean (in pl.) "the South Pacific Ocean" (1520s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

South definition

Heb. Negeb, that arid district to the south of Palestine through which lay the caravan route from Central Palestine to Egypt (Gen. 12:9; 13:1, 3; 46:1-6). "The Negeb comprised a considerable but irregularly-shaped tract of country, its main portion stretching from the mountains and lowlands of Judah in the north to the mountains of Azazemeh in the south, and from the Dead Sea and southern Ghoron the east to the Mediterranean on the west." In Ezek. 20:46 (21:1 in Heb.) three different Hebrew words are all rendered "south." (1) "Set thy face toward the south" (Teman, the region on the right, 1 Sam. 33:24); (2) "Drop thy word toward the south" (Negeb, the region of dryness, Josh. 15:4); (3) "Prophesy against the forest of the south field" (Darom, the region of brightness, Deut. 33:23). In Job 37:9 the word "south" is literally "chamber," used here in the sense of treasury (comp. 38:22; Ps. 135:7). This verse is rendered in the Revised Version "out of the chamber of the south."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see go south.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Orient your bed north-south for maximum sun exposure.
The jet streams tend to dip farther south in winter and move more to the north
  in summer, following the movement of the sun.
So they put butterflies in a flight simulator and tried to convince them to fly
Those with their antennae intact had no problem orienting and flying south.
Idioms & Phrases
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