Great Britain


Great Britain
Britain, Great Britain, the British Isles, England, etc.
1. Use of these terms causes confusion. Great Britain refers to the largest island in the group, which is divided between England, Scotland, and Wales. Politically, it means these three countries (since the Act of Union of 1707), and excludes Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Britain is an informal term with no official status; it often means the same as Great Britain but can also include Northern Ireland.
2. The British Isles is a geographical term for the group of islands including Great Britain and Ireland and also the smaller islands around them, such as the Isle of Man and the Scottish islands. The United Kingdom is a political term, in full the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and includes these countries but not usually the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
3. England strictly refers to a single political division of Great Britain, but it is commonly substituted for (Great) Britain, especially in AmE. This causes some offence in Scotland and Wales, and should be avoided in BrE. The same is true of the corresponding ethnic designation English used instead of British.
4. There is, surprisingly, no convenient general term for a citizen of the United Kingdom: Briton is normally confined to historical (or jocular) reference, and Britisher is AmE.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Great Britain — p1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Great Britain — comprises England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are NOT part of Great Britain. Related links British Isles discrimination United Kingdom …   Law dictionary

  • Great Britain — 1. principal island of the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, & Wales, & administratively including adjacent islands except the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands 2. the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland …   English World dictionary

  • Great Britain — (spr. grēt britten), Großbritannien …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Great Britain —   [ greɪt brɪtn], englisch für Großbritannien …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Great Britain — noun uncount the island that consists of England, Scotland, and Wales …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Great Britain — c.1400, Grete Britaigne. As opposed to Brittany …   Etymology dictionary

  • Great Britain — This article is about the island. For the modern state, see United Kingdom. For the state that existed from 1707 to 1801, see Kingdom of Great Britain. For the ship, see SS Great Britain. For other uses, see Great Britain (disambiguation). Great… …   Wikipedia

  • Great Britain —    Along with Germany, France, and Spain, Great Britain was one of the leading Western European nations at the end of the 19th century and a major imperial power. However, although victorious in 1918, following the devastating effects of World… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Great Britain — noun 1. 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 (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑United Kingdom,… …   Useful english dictionary