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See also: american, americàn, and Američan


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From America +‎ -an, or via Modified Latin Americanus (Latin americanus) with the same etymology.



American (plural Americans)

  1. Originally, a native or inhabitant of the British North American colonies of European descent; now, a person born in, or a citizen or inhabitant of, the United States of America. [from 17th c.]
    • 2008, Chris Moss, The Guardian, 9 Aug 2008:
      They say Americans don't walk. Well, they do in the Navajo Nation - because even if northern Arizona has gigabytes of photogenic vistas, getting out of the car is the only way to get your boots covered in desert dust and soak up the silence.
  2. An indigenous inhabitant of the Americas; a Native American or an American Indian. (Now chiefly with qualifying word.) [from 16th c.]
    • 1711, Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 56.1:
      The Americans believe that all creatures have souls.
    • 2012, Jonathan Keates, ‘Mon Père, ce héros’, Literary Review, 402:
      Within a few months the ‘slave Alexandre’ had been successfully transformed into what, across the Channel, was called a ‘blackamoor dandy’. Parisians preferred the more politely euphemistic term ‘American’.
  3. An inhabitant of the Americas. More often this is specified as either North American, Central American or South American.
    Every American's origin is, historically speaking, by immigration, if scientific speculation that points to a human origin in Asia and a migration to the New World over frozen Bering Strait turns out to be correct.
  4. (uncountable, US printing, rare, dated) A size of type smaller than German, 1-point type.



Derived terms[edit]


Proper noun[edit]


  1. The English language as spoken in the USA; American English.
    • 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006), page 756:
      We sat down in the central square and drank coffee and a man came up and spoke to us in American.



American (comparative more American, superlative most American)

  1. Of or pertaining to the Americas. More often this is specified as either "North American" or "South American."
  2. Of, from, or pertaining to the United States of America, its people or its culture.
    Thanksgiving is an American tradition.
    He married an American woman in order to get an American passport.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Chapter 1
      Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor.

Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes (usually outside of the USA) used pejoratively (see also anti-Americanism).



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Derived terms[edit]

Look at pages starting with American.

See also[edit]