Definitions

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

  • An island off the western coast of Europe comprising England, Scotland, and Wales. It is separated from the mainland by the English Channel and from Ireland by the Irish Sea.
  • See United Kingdom.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The island (and sometimes including some of the surrounding smaller islands) off the north-west coast of Europe made up of England, Scotland and Wales.
  • proper n. shortened form of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (1707-1801) Abbreviation: GB.
  • proper n. the UK.

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

  • n. a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland; `Great Britain' is often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom
  • n. an island comprising England and Scotland and Wales

Etymologies

Of the island of Great Britain, to disambiguate from Britain 'Brittany'. In Middle English (late 13th century) as Bretaygne the Grete, imitating Anglo-Norman la Grande Brettayne and 12th-century Latin maior Britannia. King James VI and I in 1604 proclaimed himself "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Great Britain and Ireland, XIV, 378; FRITSCH in Zeirschr. fur Ethnol.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Whenever Great Britain has declared war they have taken their part. . .

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • Gen Burgoyne and the troops under his command be suspended till a distinct and explicit ratification of the Convention of Saratoga shall be properly notified by the Court of Great Britain to Congress.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • He directs the Communications Research Group in Great Britain and has been studying the effects of mass media on violent behavior for several decades.

    Grand Theft Childhood

  • “What,” he was asked by Grey Cooper, secretary to the Treasury, “was the temper of America towards Great Britain before the year 1763?”

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • One of those who appreciated the symbiotic character of the relationship was John Dickinson, the Pennsylvania lawyer, who in his Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great Britain 1774 wrote:

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • On the other hand, when in the fifth and sixth centuries bands of Christian Britons emigrated from Great Britain to Armorica and formed on its northern coast the small Kingdom of Domnonée, the Gospel was preached for the first time in the future Dioceses of Dol and Aleth.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Hanging was conducted privately in Great Britain and in most of the states of the Federal Union.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • On April 6, Robert Morris of Pennsylvania wrote to General Gates, “Where the plague are those Peace Commissioners, if they are to come what is it that detains them: It is time we should be on a certainty and know positively whether the libertys of America can be established and secured by reconciliation, or whether we must totally renounce connection with Great Britain and fight our way.”

    Angel in the Whirlwind

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