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Image:CompassRose16 W.png
A compass rose with west highlighted
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 at right angles 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 towards which the sun sets at the equinox, and therefore the direction opposite that of the Earth's rotation.

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

The etymology of West can be traced back to the Old High German word westar, and perhaps to the Latin word vesper, meaning "evening", possibly derived from the Greek Hesperos.

[edit] Symbolic 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 and mist, and of maize. In Ancient Egypt, the West was considered to be the portal to the netherworld.<ref>Campbell, Joseph. The Mythic Image. Princeton University Press, 1981.</ref>

Moving West in American literature, especially The Great Gatsby, symbolizes gaining freedom. This probably has to do with the colonization of the country and Manifest Destiny.

[edit] References

Look up West in
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<references />ar:غرب (اتجاه) br:Kornôg bg:Запад ca:Oest co:Uvestu da:Vest (retning) de:Westen et:Lääs es:Oeste eo:Okcidento eu:Mendebalde (geografikoa) fa:باختر fr:Ouest gl:Oeste id:Barat (arah) is:Vestur it:Ovest he:מערב lt:Vakarai lmo:Òvest nl:West ja:西 no:Vest nn:Vest nrm:Vouêt pl:Zachód (kierunek) pt:Oeste ro:Vest ru:Запад simple:West sl:Zahod sr:Запад sh:Zapad fi:Länsi sv:Väster ta:மேற்கு vi:Hướng Tây tr:Batı yi:מערב zh-yue:西 zh:西


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