a former collective term for the territories under the leadership or control of the British crown, including those in the Commonwealth of Nations and their colonies, protectorates, dependencies, and trusteeships.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use British Empire in a sentence
This proved problematic when the United States declared war on the mighty British Empire.
Even the queen saw fit to honor him with the Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace in 2008.The Greatest Rock Voice of All Time Belonged to Joe Cocker | Ted Gioia | December 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was, I have to say, at the bottom of the hierarchy of royal honors, a British Empire Medal.
After the postwar disintegration of the British Empire, Scots curiously disassociated themselves with the period altogether.Scotland’s ‘Yes’ Campaign and the Myth of Scottish Equality | Noah Caldwell | September 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But, his psychic performance in the British Empire was about as underwhelming as England's in the World Cup.The Amazing Tale of Paul the Psychic Octopus: Germany’s World Cup Soothsayer | Emily Shire | July 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
For over a century, Hong Kong was a colony of the British Empire.
It is another of the signs of the changing social conditions in the British Empire.British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car | Thomas D. Murphy
It is the crowning of my own life rather than that of the British Empire that engages my present thought.Penelope's Experiences in Scotland | Kate Douglas Wiggin
Especially is this true about London, the centre of the British Empire, and almost the centre of the world's history.Stories That Words Tell Us | Elizabeth O'Neill
I return from this tour of the world back to the British Empire.Home Rule | Harold Spender
For let any Unionist glance round the world outside the British Empire.Home Rule | Harold Spender
British Dictionary definitions for British Empire
(formerly) the United Kingdom and the territories under its control, which reached its greatest extent at the end of World War I when it embraced over a quarter of the world's population and more than a quarter of the world's land surface
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
Cultural definitions for British Empire
The empire of Britain, which began in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with the establishment of colonies in North America and ended in the twentieth century as dozens of nations, formerly British possessions, became independent. At the empire's greatest extent, around 1900, it included Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, vast portions of Africa, and many smaller territories throughout the world. The empire ceased to have an “emperor” in the late 1940s, when the British king renounced the title of emperor of India. The empire has been succeeded by the British Commonwealth, which was formed in 1931.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.