Definition of American in English:



  • 1Relating to or characteristic of the United States or its inhabitants.

    ‘the election of a new American president’
    • ‘All of the surveys to date were conducted in the United States with American respondents.’
    • ‘When the president realized that an American city was endangered, then he would do it.’
    • ‘If this were any other American president, I'd be skeptical of a report like this.’
    • ‘It is possible there could be more charges, some carrying the death penalty, as the American investigation continues.’
    • ‘They have similar characteristics, although the American pool players would never use ash.’
    • ‘I suggest to her that the desire to communicate, and the ability to do so, are very American characteristics, and very good ones.’
    • ‘Kennedy is not the first American president to have concealed serious ill-health.’
    • ‘The former president then used the American company to purchase a large block of shares in the Irish Press in Ireland.’
    • ‘Steve Cotterill is set to continue his American adventure by jetting out to Los Angeles for a scouting mission this weekend.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Various American presidents have attempted it, in Germany, Vietnam and Eastern Europe.’
    • ‘In the next few days it will become clear whether the American people heed the president's message.’
    • ‘All of our services will be represented including a large contingent of our American friends from Menwith Hill.’
    • ‘It is unprecedented for a newly elected American president to make his first trip to Latin America.’
    • ‘For anyone aspiring to be US President, the American people must come first.’
    • ‘It had become disorganised and was continually apologising to its American customers.’
    • ‘After both instances the American people and their president demanded justice.’
    • ‘All criticism will be washed away when the president waves an American flag at a NASCAR event.’
    • ‘The American people appreciate a president who is willing to put a problem on the table.’
    1. 1.1Relating to the continents of America.
      ‘the American continent south of the tropic of Cancer’
      • ‘These appeared only to enhance the security of the American continent while offering much fewer advantages to Europe.’
      • ‘They are all very well adapted to their respective environments: the camels in harsh deserts of Africa and Asia; and their South American cousins inhabit the bush area of South America.’
      • ‘The successful revolt of the American colonies in the North, and the defeat of the French and Spanish fleets of Trafalgar, convinced the South American colonies that their time of freedom had come.’
      • ‘Even more puzzling are two large landmasses to the left and right of the American double continent.’
      • ‘In common with many other economically significant vine diseases, it originates on the American continent.’
      • ‘If the whole of the earth's population were standing on the American continent, would the ground sink?’
      • ‘We have successfully completed the first South American dolphin river census and we are satisfied with all the data collected and what we witnessed.’
      • ‘The Asians were not able to see him in action as he fought mostly in Europe and the American continent.’
      • ‘On the West Coast of the American continents, the sea-lion is one of the most curious and playful members of the seal family.’
      • ‘It is the largest and deepest lake on the American continent and the second largest alpine lake in the world.’
      • ‘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.’


  • 1A native or citizen of the United States.

    • ‘An American, a Russian, a Chinese man, and an Israeli are at a street corner when a pollster comes up.’
    • ‘This was a project that filled Americans with excitement and Europeans with fear.’
    • ‘My guess would would be they're a lot more likely to have passports than native born Americans.’
    • ‘More than two million of these were Americans bound for the European theatre of war.’
    • ‘A foul has been called by a British team but an American is contesting it.’
    • ‘Just looking at the drawing makes it clear that the young native cared for the youthful American.’
    • ‘The Americans employed Navajo during the last war as an extra level of obfuscation.’
    • ‘I of course was not a Dane but rather an American, but it seemed that it didn't matter to them.’
    • ‘In London, we are viewed as a very British bank, but many of our key staff are French or Americans.’
    • ‘The area is popular not only with Europeans but Americans living in or visiting Europe.’
    • ‘First of all, it's odd that the film stars a Scotsman and an American when it's set so prominently in Belfast.’
    • ‘I thought it was very clever to kick off with an American singing about his President in a very Swiss style.’
    • ‘In addition to the Britons, a Canadian and an American were seized.’
    • ‘He is an American by citizenship and by his sworn allegiance to the laws of this land as a U.S. senator.’
    • ‘As a result, the British and Americans were able to advance well to the east of the lower Elbe.’
    • ‘This is the story of three of them, an Englishman, a German and an American.’
    • ‘Will the Americans and the British be able to sit out such a scenario for any length of time?’
    • ‘Scott Boehnen, 33, an American, became a citizen after living in Britain for six years.’
    • ‘It's great to be an American but not so great if you are not a citizen of Rome.’
    • ‘For example, if an American marries a Greek, the American also gets a Greek citizenship.’
    • ‘She is an American, a Jew and a rising senior at the University of California at Berkeley.’
    • ‘He's an Indian American whose parents moved to Baton Rouge just before he was born.’
    • ‘Two of the detainees, a Spaniard and an American, were freed by police yesterday.’
    • ‘At stake is the fundamental sense of what it means to be an American and who belongs in America.’
    • ‘Star is half French and half Spanish but he was raised as an American with no ties to Europe, he said.’
    1. 1.1A native or inhabitant of any of the countries of North, South, or Central America.
      • ‘He knows he will never be an American, that he never can be an American.’
      • ‘It is British based so the Americans here might not find it all relevant but it's worth a check all the same.’
      • ‘This is not a political question, it's a feeling as an American for other Americans.’
      • ‘The other interesting thing for a North American is seeing wagons rolling through a yard and then noticing that there are no hand brakes.’
      • ‘The only thing better than a South American is a Brazilian.’
      • ‘I, as a South American, was very involved, intellectually, with the idea of social reform.’
      • ‘The Ukrainian surprisingly beat the American for the world title a year ago.’
      • ‘Hannah, a North American, was raised in the Quaker community of Monterverde.’
      • ‘The people who taught me the most about what it means to be American are African Americans.’
      • ‘One of the reasons that Borges as a South American was attracted to this particular North American writer was that Poe thought of himself as a Southerner.’
      • ‘They did it not just because he was an American, but because he was a Jewish American.’
      • ‘While I am not Jewish, I went through a similar process as an American from the South.’
  • 2[mass noun] The English language as it is used in the United States; American English.

    • ‘Although American English is remarkably homogeneous considering the tremendous size of the country, there are still many thousands of differences that characterize the various dialect regions of the United States.’
    • ‘His first stop was Los Angeles English School for a year where he learned to speak perfect American!’
    • ‘It's nice, though, that the majority of accents I hear around me are not English or American.’
    • ‘His accent is American but there is a slight hint of English from where he has been living in Europe for so long.’
    • ‘The only drawback is that the software is available only in English and the accent is British or American.’
    • ‘Being Australian, I'm in the position that I can fluently read and understand both American and British.’
    • ‘The orthography of English has standardized on two systems, British and American.’
    • ‘This course is very well-designed, practical, and undoubtedly will be a great support for those who want to master contemporary American English.’


  • the american dream

    • The ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.

      ‘the scapegoating of today's immigrants makes a mockery of the American dream’
      • ‘Well, first of all, they certainly have achieved the American dream.’
      • ‘It's all about being allowed to fulfill the American dream to succeed no matter who you are.’
      • ‘Although my father has achieved the American dream, I know he always has a lingering thought when he considers his good fortune.’
      • ‘I, Victoria Crocker, have officially achieved the American dream.’
      • ‘The public still seems to have an abiding faith in the American dream of achieving affluence.’
      • ‘How did the Martinez family manage to achieve the American dream during a period when high taxes were supposedly thwarting that dream?’
      • ‘And he knew he could achieve the American dream only by hard work.’
      • ‘A lot of that comes from my own parents, from their own experience here, and their ability to better themselves and achieve the American dream.’
      • ‘We'll help a rising generation gain the skills and the competence necessary to achieve the American dream.’
      • ‘This global network of black movers and shakers is an inspiring example of how we can use technology to achieve the American dream.’
      • ‘These men were all attending accredited flight schools, trying to achieve the American dream.’
      • ‘I believe in opportunity, a level playing field for everyone and the achievement of the American dream.’
      • ‘It was a unifying creed for diversity of belief and faith, for the American dream of achieving individual liberty.’
      • ‘Such special rights, however, should not justify exclusion from full participation in the American dream of liberty, equal opportunity, and the like.’