• (British) IPA: /ˈbɹɪ.tən/, /ˈbɹɪ.tn̩/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈbɹɪ.tn̩/, [ˈbɹɪ.ɾᵊn̩], [ˈbɹɪ.ʔᵊn̩]
Proper noun
  1. The island of Great Britain, consisting of England, Scotland and Wales. [from 10th c.]
  2. (loosely) The United Kingdom.
  3. (historical) Brittany. [from 13th c.]
  4. (historical) The British state and its dominions and holdings; the British Empire. [from 17th c.]
  5. (in the plural) The British Empire. [from 19th c.]
    • 1874, The Times, 14 July 1874:
      The name of 'Britain' […] ought to answer every purpose, or if that be thought too condensed, it may be pluralized into ‘The Britains’.
  6. (nonstandard) The British Isles.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Noun

Britain (plural Britains)

  1. (now, rare, historical) An ancient Briton. [from 15th c.]
    • 2002, L. C. Lambdin and R. T. Lambdin, Companion to Old and Middle English Literature, 2002, page 12:
      The Britains’ struggles with the Scots and Picts [...] led to the Britains asking the Romans for help in constructing a great wall.


  1. (obsolete) Briton; British. [16th-18th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.11:
      mightie Albion, father of the bold / And warlike people which the Britaine Islands hold […].

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