- The island of Great Britain during pre-Roman, Roman, and early Anglo-Saxon times before the reign of Alfred the Great (871-899). The name is derived from Britannia, which the Romans used for the portion of the island that they occupied.
- Abbr. Br. or Brit. See United Kingdom.
- The island of Great Britain, consisting of England, Scotland and Wales. [from 10th c.]
- (now historical) Brittany. [from 13th c.]
- (now historical) The United Kingdom; the British state and its dominions and holdings; the British Empire. [from 17th c.]
- (in the plural) The British Empire. [from 19th c.]
Old English Breoton, Bryten etc., from Latin Britannia; later reinforced by Anglo-Norman Britaine, Old French Bretaigne, from Latin Brittannia, variant of Britannia, from Britannī (see Etymology 2, below).
- (now rare, historical) An ancient Briton. [from 15th c.]
(comparative more Britain, superlative most Britain)
- This was fine with Great Britain but not with Maine.
- Araucaria imbricata, the Chile pine, or "monkey puzzle," was introduced into Britain in 1796.
- The value of the trade with British colonies and Great Britain in 1905 was over 7,200,000.
- The name Albania (in the Tosk dialect Arberia, in the Gheg Arbenia), like Albania in the Caucasus, Armenia, Albany in Britain, and Auvergne (Arvenia) in France, is probably connected with the root alb, alp, and signifies "the white or snowy uplands."
- While his treaty with Lord Lyons in 1862 for the suppression of the slave trade conceded to England the right of search to a limited extent in African and Cuban waters, he secured a similar concession for American war vessels from the British government, and by his course in the Trent Affair he virtually committed Great Britain to the American attitude with regard to this right.