Meaning of AMERICAN in English

/ əˈmerɪkən; NAmE / noun , adjective

■ noun


a person from America, especially the US

—see also African American , Native American


(also Aˈmerican English ) the English language as spoken in the US

■ adjective

of or connected with N or S America, especially the US :

I'm American.

American culture / tourists


- as American as apple pie




The continent of America is divided into North America and South America . The narrow region joining North and South America is Central America .

North America , which is a geographical term, consists of the United States of America , Canada and Mexico . Latin America , a cultural term, refers to the non-English speaking countries of Central and South America, where mainly Portuguese and Spanish are spoken. Mexico is part of Latin America.

The United States of America is usually shortened to the USA , the US , the States or simply America :

the US President

Have you ever been to the States?

She emigrated to America in 1995.

Many people from other parts of the continent dislike this use of America to mean just the US, but it is very common.

American is usually used to talk about somebody or something from the United States of America:

Do you have an American passport?

American football

I'm not American, I'm Canadian.

Latin American and South American are used to refer to other parts of the continent:

Latin American dance music

Quite a lot of South Americans study here.



from modern Latin Americanus , from America , which dates from the early 16th cent. and is believed to derive from the Latin form ( Americus ) of the name of Amerigo Vespucci, who sailed along the west coast of South America in 1501.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.