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[uh-mer-i-kuh] /əˈmɛr ɪ kə/
Also called the Americas. North and South America, considered together. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for America
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Next, he organized a church with four other men who had come from America.

  • "Well, I don't know that it will hurt America in the long run," said Pen.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • What, then, is America's duty to the oppressed race or the small nation?

  • You know, colonel, I was thinking that a trip to America wouldn't be a bad idea.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • America is a nation of inventors—the leaders in this mechanical age.

    Radio Boys Loyalty Wayne Whipple
British Dictionary definitions for America


short for the United States of America
Also called the Americas. the American continent, including North, South, and Central America
Word Origin
C16: from Americus, Latin form of Amerigo; after Amerigo Vespucci
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
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Word Origin and History for America

1507, in Cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's treatise "Cosmographiae Introductio," from Modern Latin Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) who made two trips to the New World as a navigator and claimed to have discovered it. His published works put forward the idea that it was a new continent, and he was first to call it Novus Mundus "New World." Amerigo is more easily Latinized than Vespucci.

The name Amerigo is Germanic, said to derive from Gothic Amalrich, literally "work-ruler." The Old English form of the name has come down as surnames Emmerich, Emery, etc. The Italian fem. form merged into Amelia.

Colloquial pronunciation "Ameri-kay," not uncommon 19c., goes back to at least 1643 and a poem that rhymed the word with away. Amerika "U.S. society viewed as racist, fascist, oppressive, etc." first attested 1969; the spelling is German, but may also suggest the KKK.

It is interesting to remember that the song which is essentially Southern -- "Dixie" -- and that which is essentially Northern -- "Yankee Doodle" -- never really had any serious words to them. ["The Bookman," June 1910]

These extraordinary words, which have been deservedly ridiculed here as well as in England, were proposed sometime ago, and countenanced by two or three individuals, as names for the territory and people of the United States. The general term American is now commonly understood (at least in all places where the English language is spoken,) to mean an inhabitant of the United States; and is so employed, except where unusual precision of language is required. [Pickering, 1816]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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America in Culture

“America” definition

An American patriotic hymn from the nineteenth century, sung to the tune of the national anthem of Great Britain, “God Save the Queen.” It begins, “My country, 'tis of thee.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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