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

  • A country of north-central Europe. Occupied since c. 500 BC by Germanic tribes, the region became part of the Frankish empire by the sixth century AD. Later it became a loose federation of principalities and the nucleus of the Holy Roman Empire until the imperial state was broken up by Napoleon in 1806. Germany became a confederation after 1815 and then an empire centered around Prussia (1871–1918). Following its defeat in World War I, it was reorganized as the Weimar Republic, which collapsed when Adolf Hitler rose to power and formed the Third Reich. Germany's defeat in 1945 at the end of World War II resulted in its division into four occupation zones, each controlled by an Allied power. Out of the US, French, and British zones West Germany was established in 1949, while the Soviet zone became East Germany. The two Germanies were reunified in 1990 after the fall of the East German Communist government. Berlin is the capital and largest city.

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

  • proper noun The country in Central Europe of which Berlin is the current and historical capital city. Current official name: Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).
  • proper noun countable, historical A German state; any of several German states, such as the German Democratic Republic, Saxony, etc, usually excluding Austria. (in the plural) Several or all of these states, taken together.
  • proper noun countable A or the German state at a particular time.

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

  • noun a republic in central Europe; split into East Germany and West Germany after World War II and reunited in 1990


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin Germania; likely a Gallic term for the peoples west of the Rhine that meant “neighbor”.


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