Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The government of the United States, often personified by a representation of a tall, thin man having a white beard and wearing a blue tailcoat, red-and-white-striped trousers, and a tall hat with a band of stars: "intent on giving states greater incentive to save both their dollars and Uncle Sam's” ( New York Times).
  • n. The American nation or its people.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A personification of the United States government.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a humorous appellation given to the United States Government. See Uncle Sam, in Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a personification of the United States government

Etymologies

From U.S., abbr. of United States .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested 1812. Common folklore holds that his origins come from the men of an army base in Troy, New York, who would receive barrels of meat stamped with the initials U.S. The soldiers jokingly referred to it as the initials of the meat supplier, Uncle Samuel Wilson. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.