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[eest] /ist/
a cardinal point of the compass, 90° to the right of north.
Abbreviation: E.
the direction in which this point lies.
(usually initial capital letter) a quarter or territory situated in this direction.
the East,
  1. the parts of Asia collectively lying east of Europe and including Asia Minor, Syria, Arabia, India, China, etc.; the Orient.
  2. the Far East.
  3. (formerly) the Soviet Union and its allies.
  4. the part of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River.
  5. the part of the U.S. east of the Allegheny Mountains.
  6. New England.
  7. Ancient and Medieval History. the Eastern Roman Empire.
directed or proceeding toward the east.
coming from the east:
an east wind.
lying toward or situated in the east:
the east side.
Ecclesiastical. being at the end of the church where the high altar is:
an east window.
to, toward, or in the east:
an island located east of Sumatra; He went east.
Origin of east
before 900; Middle English est, Old English ēast; cognate with German ost, Old Norse austr; akin to Latin aurōra, Greek aúōs (dialectal variant of ēṓs, héōs) dawn. See Easter
Related forms
eastness, noun


or east

1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for east
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The east has been known for ages as a "sink of the precious metals."

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
  • Camped on east side of the sand-hills, with first-rate feed for the horses.

  • And to think you went and walked about in the mud and the east wind!

    Demos George Gissing
  • To the east, plains for at least thirty miles, when broken ranges were visible.

  • They cannot communicate with the superior tribes of the North and east.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
British Dictionary definitions for east


one of the four cardinal points of the compass, 90° clockwise from north and 180° from west
the direction along a parallel towards the sunrise, at 90° to north; the direction of the earth's rotation
(often capital) the east, any area lying in or towards the east related adjective oriental
(cards) (usually capital) the player or position at the table corresponding to east on the compass
situated in, moving towards, or facing the east
(esp of the wind) from the east
in, to, or towards the east
(archaic) (of the wind) from the east
Word Origin
Old English ēast; related to Old High German ōstar to the east, Old Norse austr, Latin aurora dawn, Greek eōs, Sanskrit usās dawn, morning


noun the East
the continent of Asia regarded as culturally distinct from Europe and the West; the Orient
the countries under Communist rule and formerly under Communist rule, lying mainly in the E hemisphere Compare West (sense 2)
(in the US)
  1. the area north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi
  2. the area north of Maryland and east of the Alleghenies
  1. of or denoting the eastern part of a specified country, area, etc
  2. (as part of a name): East Sussex
Derived Forms
Eastern, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for east

Old English east "east, easterly, eastward," from Proto-Germanic *aus-to-, *austra- "east, toward the sunrise" (cf. Old Frisian ast "east," aster "eastward," Dutch oost Old Saxon ost, Old High German ostan, German Ost, Old Norse austr "from the east"), from PIE *aus- "to shine," especially "dawn" (cf. Sanskrit ushas "dawn;" Greek aurion "morning;" Old Irish usah, Lithuanian auszra "dawn;" Latin aurora "dawn," auster "south"), literally "to shine." The east is the direction in which dawn breaks. For theory of shift in sense in Latin, see Australia.

Meaning "the eastern part of the world" (from Europe) is from c.1300. French est, Spanish este are borrowings from Middle English, originally nautical. The east wind in Biblical Palestine was scorching and destructive (cf. Ezek. xvii:10); in New England it is bleak, wet, unhealthful.

Cold War use of East for "communist states" first recorded 1951. Natives of eastern Germany and the Baltics were known as easterlings 16c.-18c. East End of London so called by 1846; East Side of Manhattan so called from 1882; East Indies (India and Southeast Asia) so called 1590s to distinguish them from the West Indies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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east in Technology

A Eureka project developing a software engineering platform.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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east in the Bible

(1.) The orient (mizrah); the rising of the sun. Thus "the east country" is the country lying to the east of Syria, the Elymais (Zech. 8:7). (2). Properly what is in front of one, or a country that is before or in front of another; the rendering of the word _kedem_. In pointing out the quarters, a Hebrew always looked with his face toward the east. The word _kedem_ is used when the four quarters of the world are described (Gen. 13:14; 28:14); and _mizrah_ when the east only is distinguished from the west (Josh. 11:3; Ps. 50:1; 103:12, etc.). In Gen. 25:6 "eastward" is literally "unto the land of kedem;" i.e., the lands lying east of Palestine, namely, Arabia, Mesopotamia, etc.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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