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1. A native or inhabitant of Great Britain.
2. One of a Celtic people inhabiting ancient Britain at the time of the Roman invasion.
3. A member of a Brittonic-speaking people.

[Middle English Britoun, Celt, Briton, from Anglo-Norman Britun, from Latin Brittonēs, Britons, of Celtic origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Peoples) a native or inhabitant of Britain
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a citizen of the United Kingdom
3. (Historical Terms) history any of the early Celtic inhabitants of S Britain who were largely dispossessed by the Anglo-Saxon invaders after the 5th century ad
[C13: from Old French Breton, from Latin Britto, of Celtic origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbrɪt n)

1. a native, inhabitant, or citizen of Great Britain or the United Kingdom.
2. a member of any of the Celtic-speaking peoples inhabiting Britain S of the Firth of Clyde and Firth of Forth before the Germanic invasions of the 5th century a.d.
[1250–1300; Middle English Breton < Old French < Late Latin Brittōnēs Britons]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'Britain'

Britain or Great Britain consists of England, Scotland, and Wales. The United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The British Isles refers to Britain, Ireland, and all the smaller islands around the coast.

2. 'British'

The nationality of someone from the United Kingdom is British, although some people prefer to call themselves English, Scottish, Welsh, or Northern Irish. It is incorrect and may cause offence to call all British people 'English'.

You can refer to all the people who come from Britain as the British.

I don't think the British are good at hospitality.
The British have always displayed a healthy scepticism towards ideas.

The British can also be used to refer to a group of British people, for example the British representatives at an international conference.

The British have made these negotiations more complicated.
The British had come up with a bold and dangerous solution.
3. 'Briton'

In writing, an individual British person can be referred to as a Briton.

The youth, a 17-year-old Briton, was searched and arrested.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Briton - a native or inhabitant of Great Britain
Great Britain, GB - an island comprising England and Scotland and Wales
European - a native or inhabitant of Europe
English person - a native or inhabitant of England
patrial - a person who has the right to be considered legally a British citizen (by virtue of the birth of a parent or grandparent)
2.Briton - an inhabitant of southern Britain prior to the Anglo-Saxon invasions
Celt, Kelt - a member of a European people who once occupied Britain and Spain and Gaul prior to Roman times
Adj.1.Briton - characteristic of or associated with the Britons; "the Briton inhabitants of England"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun Brit (informal), limey (U.S. & Canad. slang), Britisher, pommy or pom (Austral. & N.Z. slang), Anglo-Saxon The three men, one Briton, are said to be close to death.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


[ˈbrɪtən] Nbritánico/a m/f; (loosely) → inglés/esa m/f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈbrɪtən] nBritannique mf
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nBrite m, → Britin f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈbrɪtən] ninglese m/f, britannico/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
Your friend is the model young Briton of the present time.
A few years since there was living on the island of Maui (one of the Sandwich group) an old chief, who, actuated by a morbid desire for notoriety, gave himself out among the foreign residents of the place as the living tomb of Captain Cook's big toe!--affirming that at the cannibal entertainment which ensued after the lamented Briton's death, that particular portion of his body had fallen to his share.
While the fiery and magnificent Spaniard, inflamed with the mania for gold, has extended his discoveries and conquests over those brilliant countries scorched by the ardent sun of the tropics, the adroit and buoyant Frenchman, and the cool and calculating Briton, have pursued the less splendid, but no less lucrative, traffic in furs amidst the hyperborean regions of the Canadas, until they have advanced even within the Arctic Circle.
"I suppose no Briton's afraid of any d Frenchman, hey?"
The places to which you, as a smug Briton, may or may not take a lady!
Neither responsibility could in fact have been fixed upon him, and just now, at all events, he was only a pleasant weather-washed wind-battered Briton, who brought in from a struggle with the elements that he appeared quite to have enjoyed a certain amount of unremoved mud and an unusual quantity of easy expression.
I insisted, courteously but firmly, on being accorded that deference and attention that was the right of the traveling Briton, and at the end I looked her full in the face.
This, principally because the Complete British Housewife, however sound a Briton at heart, was by no means an expert Briton at expressing herself with clearness in the British tongue, and sometimes might have issued her directions to equal purpose in the Kamskatchan language.
Then he flattered himself that he looked like a true Briton, but the first time he had the mud cleaned off his shoes, the little bootblack knew that an American stood in them, and said, with a grin, "There yer har, sir.
The great hero of the struggle between the Britons and the Saxons was King Arthur, but it was not until many many years after the time in which he lived that all the splendid stories of his knights, of his Round Table, and of his great conquests began to take the form in which we know them.
When it became known to the Britons on the shore of the yellow Tiber that their intelligent compatriot, Mr Sparkler, was made one of the Lords of their Circumlocution Office, they took it as a piece of news with which they had no nearer concern than with any other piece of news--any other Accident or Offence--in the English papers.
The Britons and the Anglo-Saxon Period, from the beginning to the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.