West


West

:"This article refers to the cardinal direction; for other uses see West (disambiguation).

West is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography.

West is one of the four cardinal directions or compass points. It is the opposite of east and is perpendicular to north and south.

By convention, the left side of a map is west.

To go west using a compass for navigation, set a bearing or azimuth of 270°.

West is the direction opposite that of the Earth's rotation on its axis, and is therefore the general direction towards which the Sun sets.

During the Cold war "the West" was often used to refer to the NATO camp as opposed to the Warsaw Pact and non-aligned nations. The expression survives, with an increasingly ambiguous meaning.

Moving continuously west is following a circle of latitude, which, except in the case of the equator, is not a great circle.

Etymology

The English word "west" is cognate to the Old High German word "westar", which may derive from an Indo-European root from which the Latin word "vesper", meaning "evening", derives.

ymbolic meanings

In Chinese Buddhism, the West represents movement toward the Buddha or enlightenment (see Journey to the West). The ancient Aztecs believed that the West was the realm of the great goddess of water, mist, and maize. In Ancient Egypt, the West was considered to be the portal to the netherworld, and is the cardinal direction regarded in connection with death, though not always with a negative connotation. Ancient Egyptians also believed that the Goddess Amunet was a personification of the West. [Campbell, Joseph. The Mythic Image. Princeton University Press, 1981.] The Celts believed that beyond the western sea off the edges of all maps lay the Otherworld, or Afterlife.

In American literature (eg. "The Great Gatsby"), moving west symbolizes gaining freedom, perhaps as an association with the settling of the Old West (see also Manifest Destiny).

References


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • West — (en inglés Oeste) hace referencia a varios artículos en la wikipedia: Contenido 1 Lugares 1.1 Europa 1.2 Norteamérica 2 Música …   Wikipedia Español

  • west — /west/, n. 1. a cardinal point of the compass, 90° to the left when facing north, corresponding to the point where the sun is seen to set. Abbr.: W 2. the direction in which this point lies. 3. (usually cap.) a region or territory situated in… …   Universalium

  • West — /west/, n. 1. Benjamin, 1738 1820, U.S. painter, in England after 1763. 2. Mae, 1892? 1980, U.S. actress. 3. Nathanael (Nathan Wallenstein Weinstein), 1902? 40, U.S. novelist. 4. Paul, born 1930, U.S. poet, essayist, and novelist, born in England …   Universalium

  • West — West, Morris * * * (as used in expressions) West Point Bandaranaike, S(olomon) W(est) R(idgeway) D(ias) De La Warr, Thomas West, 12° barón Key West North West Co. Sackville West, Vita Victoria Mary Sackville West SWAPO sigla de South West Africa… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • west*/*/*/ — [west] noun I 1) [U] the direction that is behind you when you are facing the rising sun We ve driven from east to west.[/ex] See: east 2) the west [singular] the part of a place that is in the west The country s major cities are all in the… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • West — West, n. [AS. west, adv.; akin to D. west, G. west, westen, OHG. westan, Icel. vestr, Sw. vest, vester, vestan, Dan. vest, vesten, and perhaps to L. vesper evening, Gr. ?. ????. Cf. {Vesper}, {Visigoth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The point in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • West — West, a. 1. Lying toward the west; situated at the west, or in a western direction from the point of observation or reckoning; proceeding toward the west, or coming from the west; as, a west course is one toward the west; an east and west line; a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • west — O.E. west in or toward the west, from P.Gmc. *wes t (Cf. O.N. vestr, O.Fris., M.Du., Du. west, O.H.G. west, only in compounds, Ger. west), from PIE *wes (source of Gk. hesperos, L. vesper evening, west ), perhaps an enlarged form of root *we to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • west — [west] n. [ME < OE, akin to Ger < IE * we (< base * au , down, away from) > Gr hesperos, L vesper, evening] 1. the direction to the left of a person facing north; direction in which sunset occurs: it is properly the point on the… …   English World dictionary

  • west — ► NOUN (usu. the west) 1) the direction towards the point of the horizon where the sun sets at the equinoxes, on the left hand side of a person facing north. 2) the western part of a country, region, or town. 3) (the West) Europe and North… …   English terms dictionary

  • WEST (B.) — WEST BENJAMIN (1738 1820) Peintre américain. Bien que West soit né en Amérique et qu’il y ait appris la «partie mécanique» (selon ses propres termes) de la peinture, son œuvre est entièrement étrangère au développement de l’art américain. Au… …   Encyclopédie Universelle


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