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From Latin Germania; likely a Celtic/Gaulish term for the peoples west of the Rhine that meant “neighbor”.[1][2]


Proper noun[edit]

Germany (plural Germanys or Germanies)

  1. The country in Central Europe of which Berlin is the current and historical capital city. Current official name: Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
    • 1996, Paul Bookbinder, Weimar Germany: the republic of the reasonable (ISBN 0719042879), page 90
      Severing's belief that trade union workers were the most progressive and democratic element in Germany holds up well under investigation.
  2. (countable, historical, in reference to any period when Germany was not united) A German state; any of several German states, such as the German Democratic Republic, Saxony, etc, usually excluding Austria. (in the plural) Several or all of these states, taken together.
    • 1987, Henry Ashby Turner, The Two Germanies Since 1945 (ISBN 0300038658)
    • 2007, William Clark, Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University (ISBN 0226109224), page 84:
      The differences between England and the Germanies sprang from the absence or presence of ministerial interventions.
    • 2010, Ilan Stavans, Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years (ISBN 0312240333):
      They were also accompanied by Luis Villar Bordo, whom García Márquez had met during his student years at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá. In a Renault 14, they drove from one Germany to the other, []
  3. (countable) A or the German state at a particular time.
    The Germany of his children was not the Germany of his forefathers.
    One Germany faded and another emerged.


  • 1872, History of English Literature, an abridgment by John Fiske of H. van Laun's translation of Hippolyte Taine's 1864 Histoire de la littérature anglaise; page 26:
    While the Germans of Gaul, Italy, and Spain became Romans, the Saxons retained their language, their genius, and manners, and created in Britain a Germany outside of Germany.

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ [1998], Hagen Schulze, Germany: A New History, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, page 4:
  2. ^ "German", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Ed. T. F. Hoad. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed March 4, 2008.