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2017 Word of the Year

American

[uh-mer-i-kuh n] /əˈmɛr ɪ kən/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the United States of America or its inhabitants:
an American citizen.
2.
of or relating to North or South America; of the Western Hemisphere:
the American continents.
3.
of or relating to the aboriginal Indians of North and South America, usually excluding the Eskimos, regarded as being of Asian ancestry and marked generally by reddish to brownish skin, black hair, dark eyes, and prominent cheekbones.
noun
4.
a citizen of the United States of America.
5.
a native or inhabitant of the Western Hemisphere.
6.
an Indian of North or South America.
8.
a steam locomotive having a four-wheeled front truck, four driving wheels, and no rear truck.
Origin of American
1570-1580
First recorded in 1570-80; Americ(a) + -an
Related forms
Americanly, adverb
Americanness, noun

American, The

noun
1.
a novel (1877) by Henry James.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for American
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In every American home that is a home, to-day, it demands attention.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • A courage, moreover —the gambler's courage—that is typically American.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • She wa'n't meant fur it—and I'd rather have her marry an American, anyhow.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • There was no one in sight, but it was evident that a party from an American ship had visited the island.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • They saw an American ship riding at anchor a mile or more from shore.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
British Dictionary definitions for American

American

/əˈmɛrɪkən/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the United States of America, its inhabitants, or their form of English
2.
of or relating to the American continent
noun
3.
a native or citizen of the US
4.
a native or inhabitant of any country of North, Central, or South America
5.
the English language as spoken or written in the United States
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for American

1570s (n.); 1590s (adj.), from Modern Latin Americanus, from America (q.v.); originally in reference to what now are called Native Americans; the sense of "resident of North America of European (originally British) descent" is first recorded 1640s (adj.); 1765 (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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