southern

Southern means from the south, like a southern breeze. But if you call a group of people “y’all,” you might be Southern, a word which refers to the American South and usually gets a capital “S” — and a side of hush puppies.

A southern breeze happens when wind is moving from the south to the north, and the Southern Hemisphere is south of the equator. When southern refers to the direction, it’s not capitalized; when it's used in the name of specific place, however, it is capitalized. Southern comes from south, which derives from a Germanic word meaning "sun-side."

Definitions of southern
  1. adjective
    situated in or oriented toward the south
    “a southern exposure”
    synonyms: southerly
    south
    situated in or facing or moving toward or coming from the south
  2. adjective
    situated in or coming from regions of the south
    “the southern hemisphere”
    southern constellations”
    Synonyms:
    austral
    of the south or coming from the south
    meridional
    located in the south or characteristic of southern people or places
    south-central
    being in or of a region of the United States including the states of the lower Mississippi valley and east of the Rio Grande
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    Antonyms:
    northern
    situated in or coming from regions of the north
    boreal, circumboreal
    comprising or throughout far northern regions
    north-central
    being in or of a region of the United States generally including states of the upper Mississippi valley and Great Lakes region lying north of the Ohio River and the southern boundaries of Kansas and Missouri and between the western boundary of Pennsylvania and the eastern boundaries of Montana and Wyoming and Colorado
    septrional
    of northern regions; from the seven stars (or seven plowing oxen) of Ursa Major
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  3. adjective
    from the south; used especially of wind
    southern breezes”
    synonyms: southerly
    south
    situated in or facing or moving toward or coming from the south
  4. adjective
    in or characteristic of a region of the United States south of (approximately) the Mason-Dixon line
    southern hospitality”
    southern cooking”
    southern plantations”
    Synonyms:
    Confederate
    of or having to do with the southern Confederacy during the American Civil War
    gray, grey
    used to signify the Confederate forces in the American Civil War (who wore grey uniforms)
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    Antonyms:
    northern
    in or characteristic of a region of the United States north of (approximately) the Mason-Dixon line
    blue
    used to signify the Union forces in the American Civil War (who wore blue uniforms)
    Federal, Union
    being of or having to do with the northern United States and those loyal to the Union during the American Civil War
    Yankee
    used by Southerners for an inhabitant of a northern state in the United States (especially a Union soldier)
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