Share this entry

American Syllabification: A·mer·i·can
Pronunciation: /əˈmerəkən/

Definition of American in English:


1Of, relating to, or characteristic of the United States or its inhabitants: the election of a new American president
More example sentences
  • I suggest to her that the desire to communicate, and the ability to do so, are very American characteristics, and very good ones.
  • A large image of the flag of the United States honours six American astronauts lost with the Columbia.
  • He was nonetheless to spend many years with his American wife in the United States, lecturing and teaching.
1.1Relating to or denoting the continents of America: the American continent south of the tropic of Cancer
More example sentences
  • In terms of geography, both Panama City and Port of Spain are almost at the centre of the American continent.
  • Rising in all its glory to shine not only in every part of Europe, but also on the American continent.
  • If the whole of the earth's population were standing on the American continent, would the ground sink?


Back to top  
1A native or citizen of the United States.
Example sentences
  • Scott Boehnen, 33, an American, became a citizen after living in Britain for six years.
  • He is an American by citizenship and by his sworn allegiance to the laws of this land as a U.S. senator.
  • My guess would would be they're a lot more likely to have passports than native born Americans.
1.1 [usually with adjective] A native or inhabitant of any of the countries of North, South, or Central America.
Example sentences
  • While I am not Jewish, I went through a similar process as an American from the South.
  • This is not a political question, it's a feeling as an American for other Americans.
  • The people who taught me the most about what it means to be American are African Americans.
2The English language as it is used in the United States; American English.
Example sentences
  • It's nice, though, that the majority of accents I hear around me are not English or American.
  • His first stop was Los Angeles English School for a year where he learned to speak perfect American!
  • The only drawback is that the software is available only in English and the accent is British or American.


From modern Latin Americanus, from America.



Example sentences
  • I am becoming a little more Canadian each day, and yet I have never in my life felt more American, even as that Americanness is now undergoing some kind of transformation of its own.
  • Viewers are invited to celebrate their Americanness by buying a flag kit, complete with stars-and-stripes button and stickers.
  • But Britishness, like Americanness, need not be like that.

Words that rhyme with American

African • hurricane

Definition of American in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...