[ brit-ish ]

  1. of or relating to Great Britain or its inhabitants.

  2. used especially by natives or inhabitants of Great Britain: In this dictionary, “Brit.” is an abbreviation for “British usage.”

  1. the people native to or inhabiting Great Britain.

  1. the Celtic language of the ancient Britons.

Origin of British

before 900; Middle English Brittische,Old English Bryttisc, equivalent to Brytt(as) Britons + -isc--ish1; see Briton

Other words from British

  • Brit·ish·ly, adverb
  • Brit·ish·ness, noun
  • anti-British, adjective, noun
  • non-British, adjective
  • pre-British, adjective
  • pro-British, adjective

Words Nearby British Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use British in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for British


/ (ˈbrɪtɪʃ) /

  1. relating to, denoting, or characteristic of Britain or any of the natives, citizens, or inhabitants of the United Kingdom

  2. relating to or denoting the English language as spoken and written in Britain, esp the S dialect generally regarded as standard: See also Southern British English, Received Pronunciation

  1. relating to or denoting the ancient Britons

  2. of or relating to the Commonwealth: British subjects

  1. (functioning as plural) the natives or inhabitants of Britain

  2. the extinct Celtic language of the ancient Britons: See also Brythonic

Derived forms of British

  • Britishness, noun

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