east is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet

Cultural Dictionary

East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet definition


The culture of the West (Europe and the Americas) will always be very different from that of the East (Asia). (Twain means “two.”) This saying is part of the refrain of “The Ballad of East and West,” a poem by Rudyard Kipling.

American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet definition


A line from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It continues, a few lines later: “But there is neither East nor West &ellipsis; When two strong men stand face to face.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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