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[brit-n] /ˈbrɪt n/
a native or inhabitant of Great Britain, especially of England.
one of the Celtic people formerly occupying the southern part of the island of Britain.
Origin of Briton
1250-1300; < Medieval Latin Britōn- (stem of Britō); replacing Middle English Breton < Old French < Late Latin Brittōnēs Britons
Can be confused
Britain, Briton. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Briton
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The nobleman told his name—a name dear to every Briton and every Irishman.

  • This he does vilely, and earns not only the contempt of his brethren, but the amused scorn of the Briton.

    American Notes Rudyard Kipling
  • He would not have been a Briton if these untoward combinations of events had not made him surly.

  • "Had about decided not to go," frowned the Briton with an odd change of manner.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • "I—that demijohn that you took last night," began the Briton nervously.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
British Dictionary definitions for Briton


a native or inhabitant of Britain
a citizen of the United Kingdom
(history) any of the early Celtic inhabitants of S Britain who were largely dispossessed by the Anglo-Saxon invaders after the 5th century ad
Word Origin
C13: from Old French Breton, from Latin Britto, of Celtic origin
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 Briton

Anglo-French Bretun, from Latin Brittonem (nominative Britto, misspelled Brito in MSS) "a member of the tribe of the Britons," from *Britt-os, the Celtic name of the Celtic inhabitants of Britain and southern Scotland before the 5c. Anglo-Saxon invasion drove them into Wales, Cornwall, and a few other corners. In 4c. B.C.E. Greek they are recorded as Prittanoi, which is said to mean "tattooed people." Exclusively in historical use after Old English period; revived when James I was proclaimed King of Great Britain in 1604, and made official at the union of England and Scotland in 1707.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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