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west


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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, or the part of the horizon lying in this direction. The word is recorded from Old English and is of Germanic origin; it comes from an Indo-European root shared by Greek hesperos, Latin vesper ‘evening’.

From the Middle Ages the West has designated Europe (and later America) as seen in contrast to other civilizations; in the 20th century, the term also denoted the non-Communist states of Europe and America contrasted with the former Communist states of eastern Europe. The West was also traditionally used for the western part of the United States, especially the states west of the Mississippi.

The west is also referred to allusively as the place of the sun's setting.

West Bank a region west of the River Jordan and north-west of the Dead Sea. It contains Jericho, Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem, and other settlements. It became part of Jordan in 1948 and was occupied by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967. In 1993 an agreement was signed which granted limited autonomy to the Palestinians; withdrawal of Israeli troops began in 1994.

West End the entertainment and shopping area of London to the west of the City; the name is recorded from the late 18th century.

West Lothian question a rhetorical question that identifies the constitutional anomaly that MPs for Scottish and Welsh constituencies are unable to vote on Scottish or Welsh matters that have been devolved to those assemblies, but are able to vote on equivalent matters concerning England, whilst MPs for English constituencies have no reciprocal influence on Scottish or Welsh policy. It is named for West Lothian, a former parlimentary constituency in Central Scotland, whose MP, Tam Dalyell, persistently raised this question in Parliament.

West Point the US Military Academy, founded in 1802, located on the site of a former strategic fort on the west bank of the Hudson River in New York State.

West Side the western part of any of several North American cities or boroughs, especially the island borough of Manhattan, New York.

West Wing the part of the White House housing the executive offices of the President, including the Oval Office.


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