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Uncle Sam

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noun

a personification of the government or people of the U.S.: represented as a tall, lean man with white chin whiskers, wearing a blue tailcoat, red-and-white-striped trousers, and a top hat with a band of stars.

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Origin of Uncle Sam

An Americanism dating back to 1805–15; extension of the initials U.S.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

noun

a personification of the government of the United States

Word Origin for Uncle Sam

C19: apparently a humorous interpretation of the letters stamped on army supply boxes during the War of 1812: US
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 Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

A figure who stands for the government of the United States and for the United States itself. Uncle Sam — whose initials are the abbreviation of United States — is portrayed as an old man with a gray goatee who sports a top hat and Stars and Stripes clothing. During World War I and World War II, posters of Uncle Sam exhorted young men to join the armed forces. (Compare John Bull.)

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.
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