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See also: conus and cônus


Proper noun[edit]


  1. (chiefly military) Acronym of The continental United States; but is further defined to be the 48 states between Canada and Mexico, to include the District of Columbia.

Usage notes[edit]

Commonly thought to be the contiguous United States (or with a technical meaning of conterminous United States), the authoritative definition is somewhat internally contradictory. The Joint Publication 1 (JP 1), Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, 25 March 2013 Incorporating Change 1,12 July 2017, indicates on page GL-6, the definition of continental United States to be:

  • United States territory, including the adjacent territorial waters, located within North America between Canada and Mexico. Also called CONUS. (Approved for incorporation into JP 1-02 with JP 1 as the source JP.)

This would indicate that the acronym for CONUS is Continental United States, which is specified in this case to have the contradictory, colloquial meaning of continental or conterminous United States, until an authoritative reference is changed or takes precedence..