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


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)


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