is a direction
. It is one of the four cardinal directions
points, opposite of west
and at right angles
. East is the direction toward which the Earth
rotates about its axis
, and therefore the general direction from which the Sun
appears to rise.
The etymology of east
is from a Proto-Indo-European language
word for dawn
. Cf. Latin aurora
and Greek eōs
, a Germanic goddess of dawn, might have been a personification of both dawn and the cardinal point.
By convention, an ordinary terrestrial map is oriented so the right side is east. This convention dates from the Renaissance. Many medieval maps were oriented with the Orient (the East) east at the top, which is the source of the verb orient.