Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to Great Britain or its people, language, or culture.
  • adjective Of or relating to the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • adjective Of or relating to the ancient Britons.
  • noun The people of Great Britain.
  • noun British English.
  • noun The Celtic language of the ancient Britons.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to Great Britain, or in the widest sense the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, or its inhabitants: as, the British people or empire; British legislation or interests.
  • Of or pertaining to the ancient Britons or their language.
  • Sometimes abbreviated Brit.
  • noun [Used as a plural.] The inhabitants of Great Britain, including specifically the English, Welsh, and Scotch.
  • noun The language of the ancient Britons, represented by the modern Welsh and Cornish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to Great Britain or to its inhabitants; -- sometimes restricted to the original inhabitants.
  • adjective a brownish substance, very soluble in cold water, formed by heating dry starch at a temperature of about 600° Fahr. It corresponds, in its properties, to dextrin, and is used, in solution, as a substitute for gum in stiffering goods.
  • adjective the national emblem of Great Britain.
  • adjective the four seas which surround Great Britain.
  • noun plural People of Great Britain.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun With the, the citizens or inhabitants of Britain collectively.
  • proper noun With the, the citizens or inhabitants of the United Kingdom collectively.
  • proper noun history The ancient inhabitants of the southern part of Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion, also called ancient Britons.
  • proper noun The Celtic language of the ancient Britons
  • proper noun The British English language.
  • adjective Of Britain (meaning the British Isles)
  • adjective Of the United Kingdom.
  • adjective Of the Commonwealth of Nations, or the British Empire.
  • adjective historical Of the ancient inhabitants of the southern part of Britain; Brythonic.

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

  • noun the people of Great Britain
  • adjective of or relating to or characteristic of Great Britain or its people or culture

Etymologies

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

[Middle English Brittish, from Old English Bryttisc, relating to the ancient Britons, from Bryttas, Britons, of Celtic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

In Old English as Bryttisc "Britons" . The spelling with single -t- appears in the 13th century under the influence of Latin Britannia, but spelling with -tt- persists alongside -t- during the 13th to 17th centuries.

Examples

  • ANGELA KNIGHT, BRITISH BANKERS ASSOCIATION: I sincerely hope that we have now come to an end of those moves, which while it is important the British people do have certain political and populist element to them, because that doesn't really send a terribly good message to, out from the U.K. to the rest of the world.

    CNN Transcript Dec 9, 2009

  • GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I want to announce awarded by Her Majesty the Queen, on behalf of the British people, an honorary knighthood for Sir Edward Kennedy.

    CNN Transcript Mar 4, 2009

  • DAVID MILIBAND, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The United Kingdom is deeply concerned at the arrest and in some cases continued detention of some of our hard-working, locally-engaged staff in British.

    CNN Transcript Jun 28, 2009

  • Mr Lindsay do you think all british people need to emigrate to australia or canada in order to have an opinion about those countries and their friends/enemies - I hope your suggestion is not that Jewish people are not as British as you-my family who fought for this country in the world wars would have been very unhappy to hear that.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have resolved, first of all, as we did some years ago, that it is in the British national interest to confront the Taliban in Afghanistan or Afghanistan would come to us, and so today Britain will announce addition a troops for Afghanistan bringing our numbers in Afghanistan to the highest level.

    CNN Transcript Jun 16, 2008

  • GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have resolved, first of all, as we did some years ago, that it is in the British national interest to confront the Taliban in Afghanistan or Afghanistan would come to us.

    CNN Transcript Jun 16, 2008

  • CANON ANDREW WHITE, SENIOR BRITISH CLERIC: During the meeting with him, I experienced a long litany of how he was going to kill British and American people.

    CNN Transcript Jul 5, 2007

  • CANON ANDREW WHITE, SENIOR BRITISH CLERIC: During the meeting with him, I experienced a long litany of how he was going to kill British and American people.

    CNN Transcript Jul 5, 2007

  • TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The British forces that remain in Iraq will have the following tasks -- training and support to Iraqi forces, securing the Iraq-Iran border, securing supply routes and, above all, the ability to conduct operations against extremist groups and be there in support of the Iraqi army when called upon.

    CNN Transcript Feb 21, 2007

  • TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I give my thanks to you, the British people.

    CNN Transcript May 11, 2007

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