See also: american, americàn, and Američan


English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative formsEdit


From America +‎ -n, or via Latin americanus.


  • IPA(key): /əˈmɛɹ.ɪ.kən/
  • (file)


American (plural Americans)

  1. Originally, relating to the New World, the continent America, then a native or inhabitant of the British North American colonies; now, a person born in, or a citizen, national, or inhabitant of, the United States of America. [from 17th c.]
    • 2008 August 9, Chris Moss, The Guardian:
      They say Americans don't walk. Well, they do in the Navajo Nation - because even if northern Arizona has gigabytes of photogenic vistas, getting out of the car is the only way to get your boots covered in desert dust and soak up the silence.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:American.
  2. An indigenous inhabitant of the Americas; a Native American or an American Indian (now chiefly with qualifying word). [from 16th c.]
    • 1711, Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 56.1:
      The Americans believe that all creatures have souls.
    • 2012, Jonathan Keates, ‘Mon Père, ce héros’, Literary Review, 402:
      Within a few months the ‘slave Alexandre’ had been successfully transformed into what, across the Channel, was called a ‘blackamoor dandy’. Parisians preferred the more politely euphemistic term ‘American’.
  3. An inhabitant of the Americas. More often this is specified as either North American, Central American or South American.
    Every American's origin is, historically speaking, by immigration, if scientific speculation that points to a human origin in Africa and a migration to the New World from Eurasia turns out to be correct.
  4. (uncountable, US printing, rare, dated) A size of type smaller than German, 1-point type.




Proper nounEdit


  1. The English language as spoken in the U.S.; American English.
    • 1942, Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006), page 756:
      We sat down in the central square and drank coffee and a man came up and spoke to us in American.
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 490:
      "Where do you keep your cash, bub?" asked Idris hoarsely. His American was better than Hassan's English.
    • 1998, Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna, Rush Hour, New Line Cinema:
      JAMES CARTER: Mr. Rice-a-Roni; don't even speak American.
    • 2014, David Ayer, Fury, Columbia Pictures:
      DON COLLIER: This is an American tank; we talk American.



American (comparative more American, superlative most American)

  1. Of, from, or pertaining to the Americas.
  2. Of, from, or pertaining to the United States of America, its people or its culture.
    He married an American woman in order to get an American passport.
    Thanksgiving is an American tradition.
  3. (finance, of an option, not comparable) That can be exercised on any date between the issue date and the expiry date.
    • 2009, John C. Hull, Options, Futures, and other Derivatives (Seventh Edition), Pearson Education, page 182:
      All of these trade on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Most of the contracts are European. An exception is the OEX contract on the S&P 100, which is American.
    • 2009, Shih-Feng Huang and Meihui Guo, Applied Quantitative Finance (Second Edition), Springer, page 295:
      Multi-dimensional option pricing becomes an important topic in financial markets (Franker et al., 2008). Among which, the American-type derivative (e.g. the Bermudan option) pricing is a challenging problem.
    • 2010, Johnathan Mun, Modeling Risk + DVD: Applying Monte Carlo Risk Simulation, Strategic Real Options, Stochastic Forecasting, and Portfolio Optimization (Second Edition), John Wiley & Sons:
      Based on the analyses throughout the case study, it is recommended that the use of a model that assumes an ESO is European style when, in fact, the option is American style with the other exotic variables should not be permitted, as this substantially overstates compensation expenses.

Usage notesEdit

Sometimes (usually outside of the U.S.) used pejoratively (see also anti-Americanism).


Coordinate termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Derived termsEdit

Terms derived from American (all parts of speech)
Terms derived from American (substantive)
Terms derived from American (adjective)

Pages starting with “American”.

Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit