1. a native or inhabitant of Great Britain, especially of England.
  2. 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 confusedBritain Briton Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for briton

Contemporary Examples of briton

Historical Examples of briton

  • 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.

  • "I—that demijohn that you took last night," began the Briton nervously.

British Dictionary definitions for briton


  1. a native or inhabitant of Britain
  2. a citizen of the United Kingdom
  3. 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 for Briton

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

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