American

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See also: american, americàn, and Američan

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
Americans

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From America +‎ -n, or via Latin americanus.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /əˈmɛɹ.ɪ.kən/, IPA(key): /əˈmɚ.ɪ.kən/ (US pronunciation)
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]

American (plural Americans)

  1. Any inhabitant of the Americas.
  2. (historical) A citizen or inhabitant of British North America.
  3. (archaic) Synonym of American Indian or Native American, an indigenous inhabitant of the Americas. [from 16th c.]
    • 1711, Joseph Addison, The Spectator, p. 56:
      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’.
  4. (uncountable, US printing, rare, dated) A size of type smaller than German, 1-point type.
  5. A citizen or inhabitant of the United States of America.
    • 1852 July 5, Frederick Douglass, speech to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, Rochester, New York:
      Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation... is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen.
    • 1941, George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn, Pt. I:
      ...the British ruling class obviously could not admit to themselves that their usefulness was at an end. Had they done that they would have had to abdicate. For it was not possible for them to turn themselves into mere bandits, like the American millionaires, consciously clinging to unjust privileges and beating down opposition by bribery and tear-gas bombs. After all, they belonged to a class with a certain tradition, they had been to public schools where the duty of dying for your country, if necessary, is laid down as the first and greatest of the Commandments.
    • 1984 Aug. 11, Ronald Reagan, soundcheck for a weekly address:
      My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.
    • 2015 October 30, The Graham Norton Show, Season 18, Episode 6:
      Graham Norton: But the people coming up to you now, like the Americans, well, you know, the Americans, they're not shy, the Americans.
      Maggie Smith: No. Well, no but I don't go anywhere where really they can get at me. It's usually in museums and art galleries and things, so that limits things. I keep away from there, and Harrod's I don't go near.
    Roughly two-thirds of Americans default to the General American accent, with other dialects like Southern, AAVE, and Chicano usually being considered lower prestige outside of entertainment and politics.
  6. (informal, humorous, colloquial) The dialect of English spoken in and around the continental United States of America.
    • 1896, The North American Review, page 28:
      “ Do you speak American , ” then asked the lady . “ Oh , naow , ” he replied with a still stronger emphasis . “ But wouldn't you like to learn American ? " persisted the lady . “ Oh , naow , thanks , " answered this sturdy little []
    • 1871, United States. Commission of Inquiry to Santo Domingo, Report, with the Introductory Message of the President, Special Reports Made to the Commission, State Papers Furnished by the Dominican Government, and the Statements of Over Seventy Witnesses, page 268:
      -A . Spanish ; my mother and father speak American ; my brothers and sisters speak Spanish ; when he is in the house , we speak American ; we have American prayers at night before we go to bed . Q. Is that usual in the families of the []
    • 1945, Clarence I. Chatto; Alice L. Halligan, The Story of the Springfield Plan:
      The fact that they speak American and don ' t wear German uniforms makes them more dangerous than the Jerries themselves . What does your Springfield Plan do about them ? Here is a fighting challenge . In the light of this challenge the []
    • 1909, Ambrose Bierce, Write it Right:
      Donate for Give. Good American, but not good 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.
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 490:
      "Where do you keep your cash, bub?" asked Idris hoarsely. His American was better than Hassan's English.
    • 1998, Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna, Rush Hour, New Line Cinema:
      JAMES CARTER: Mr. Rice-a-Roni; don't even speak American.
    • 2014, David Ayer, Fury, Columbia Pictures:
      DON COLLIER: This is an American tank; we talk American.

Usage notes[edit]

  1. Within most English dialects, American now refers particularly to the people of the largest English-speaking country in the Americas, the United States. Other senses now typically require qualifiers: Central American, Native American, etc. Some speakers maintain separate idiolects, however, including some Native Americans. Many Latin Americans also pointedly maintain Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese's preference for using América to refer to the Americas generally.
  2. Discussion of unqualified American as a language separate from or in place of English is typically considered a sign of poor education or used to mock others' supposed ignorance, parochialism, or excessive nationalism.

Synonyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

American (comparative more American, superlative most American)

  1. Of, from, or pertaining to the United States of America, its people, or its culture.
    He married an American woman in order to get an American passport.
    Thanksgiving is an American tradition.
  2. (uncommon) Of, from, or pertaining to the Americas.
    This is pure American powder from the foothills of Colombia.
  3. (historical) Of, from, or pertaining to British North America.
  4. (archaic) Synonym of American Indian and Native American, of, from, or pertaining to the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas.
  5. (finance, of an option, not comparable) Able to be exercised on any date between its issue and expiry.
    • 2009, John C. Hull, Options, Futures, and other Derivatives (Seventh Edition), Pearson Education, page 182:
      All of these trade on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Most of the contracts are European. An exception is the OEX contract on the S&P 100, which is American.
    • 2009, Shih-Feng Huang and Meihui Guo, Applied Quantitative Finance (Second Edition), Springer, page 295:
      Multi-dimensional option pricing becomes an important topic in financial markets (Franker et al., 2008). Among which, the American-type derivative (e.g. the Bermudan option) pricing is a challenging problem.
    • 2010, Johnathan Mun, Modeling Risk + DVD: Applying Monte Carlo Risk Simulation, Strategic Real Options, Stochastic Forecasting, and Portfolio Optimization (Second Edition), John Wiley & Sons:
      Based on the analyses throughout the case study, it is recommended that the use of a model that assumes an ESO is European style when, in fact, the option is American style with the other exotic variables should not be permitted, as this substantially overstates compensation expenses.

Usage notes[edit]

See above.

Synonyms[edit]

Coordinate terms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams[edit]