October 19, 2011
American (adjective)
\uh-MAIR-uh-kuhn\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : of or relating to North or South America or their residents2 : of or relating to the U.S. or its citizens
How do you use it?
Once thought of as American sports, baseball and basketball are now played all over the world.
Are you a word wiz?

About what time in history do you think the adjective "American" came into popular use?

"America" was named for Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, who explored parts of South America in the years 1501 and 1502. By 1580, the adjective "American" had become established in English. Also in that year English navigator and explorer Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe, which means that he sailed completely around the earth. And Captain John Smith, who was to become a leader in the 1607 colonization of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America, was born in the village of Willoughby, England, in late 1579 or early 1580.
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