Definition of British in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrɪtɪʃ/


1Relating to Great Britain or the United Kingdom, or to its people or language.
Example sentences
  • In fact, the first seven presidents of the United States were born as British subjects.
  • We would not have had a united movement and we would have failed a generation of British Muslims.
  • Friends say she is rather shy, retiring and eccentric in the best British sense.
2Of the British Commonwealth or (formerly) the British Empire.
Example sentences
  • The inability of Britishness to act as a focus for Australian policies and priorities left a void in the Australian self-image.


(as plural noun the British)
The British people.
Example sentences
  • We might also consider why so many Americans hate the British and all other Europeans.
  • The courage of the Indian troops who fought with the British and the Gurkhas was never in doubt.
  • To the British and Americans, however, it was central to their conduct of the war.


Old English Brettisc 'relating to the ancient Britons', from Bret 'Briton', from Latin Britto, or its Celtic equivalent.

  • The Latin word for Britain was Britannia, and its inhabitants were the Brittones. These words gave English Britain and Briton during the Anglo-Saxon period, and Brittany in northern France—settled by Britons fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasion. British originally referred to the ancient Britons or their Celtic language; the later inhabitants, descended from Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Normans, as well as from the native Celtic peoples, were not described as British until the later Middle Ages. See also english

Words that rhyme with British

skittish, twittish

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Brit|ish

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