the americas

America

[uh-mer-i-kuh]
noun
4.
Also called the Americas. North and South America, considered together.
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World English Dictionary
America (əˈmɛrɪkə)
 
n
1.  short for the United States of America
2.  Also called: the Americas the American continent, including North, South, and Central America
 
[C16: from Americus, Latin form of Amerigo; after Amerigo Vespucci]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

America
1507, in Cartographer Martin Waldseemüller's treatise "Cosmographiae Introductio," from Mod.L. Americanus, after Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) who made two trips to the New World as a navigator and claimed to have discovered it. His published works put forward the idea that it was a new continent,
and he was first to call it Novus Mundus "New World." Amerigo is more easily Latinized than Vespucci. The name Amerigo is Gmc., said to derive from Goth. Amalrich, lit. "work-ruler." The O.E. form of the name has come down as surnames Emmerich, Emery, etc. The It. fem. form merged into Amelia. Amerika "U.S. society viewed as racist, fascist, oppressive, etc." first attested 1969; the spelling is Ger., but may also suggest the KKK.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

“America” definition


An American patriotic hymn from the nineteenth century, sung to the tune of the national anthem of Great Britain, “God Save the Queen.” It begins, “My country, 'tis of thee.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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