From CNN Student News:CNN Student News Jan 22, 2014

But in Ohio, there is a state of emergency. More than ten percent of people who live there use propane tanks or heating oil to keep their homes warm. And the icy weather coincides with a rare shortage of both. The state of emergency will allow trucks that carry the fuel to work longer hours. Out west, a very different kind of emergency in California. A drought. The worst ever recorded there has dried up lakes and reservoirs, worsened wildfires and killed off crops.

What's the meaning of out in out west here? Does it have the same meaning of the word out in go out to the west of the America?

  • 2
    There were many people out there. The word out in such context means away from the place you are standing in or talking from. This probably means out there in west, a very different...
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 11:57
  • I second Maulik. That sentence doesn't seem to be formal in sense. Just an informal usage. Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


As mentioned by Maulik in his comments the word out in such contexts means somewhere away from a position.

However for this particular example it has a very specific meaning. In fact Out in "Out West" does not has its individual meaning.

Out west here is used as an Idiom that refers to the "Western part of the United States". You can find the reference here.

It usually refers to the states of California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona etc.


It's quite like when we say, "up north" or "down south". Come to think of it, Americans seldom say "out east". Hmmm. "Back east", maybe?
This is odd, indeed, but there you have it.

  • Might west coasters say "out east"?
    – fixer1234
    Commented May 14, 2017 at 7:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .