List of Words That Describe the United States

, Staff Writer
Updated April 24, 2019
The Statue of Liberty in New York City
    The Statue of Liberty in New York City

Need words to describe the United States of America? Maybe you’re writing a civics paper. Maybe you’re writing a poem. Maybe you just need to wrap words around a large, complicated, diverse nation to make it make a tiny bit of sense.

YourDictionary can help. We’ve brought together lists of words that describe the United States, and provided a few hints to help you think of more.

People and Society

For many people outside the United States (unless they’re from Russia, Canada or China, because they’re bigger), the first word that comes to mind about the USA is big:

  • The United States alone is bigger than three whole continents: Antarctica, Australia, and Europe.
  • According to the 2010 Census, there are more than 6.3 million different last names in the United States.
  • The Census Bureau reports that 350 different languages are spoken in American families. That’s more languages than the number of countries in the world!

Another important word for America is diverse. Native Americans were here first, but everyone else in the US was an immigrant from somewhere else. That has made the United States a cultural melting pot, a place where people from all over the world come, connect, and create things that couldn’t have happened anywhere but America. Here is a list of words that describe society in the United States:


Music, Arts, and Entertainment

The United States celebrates its immigrant origin in music and the arts. With music styles as varied as bluegrass, jazz, and heavy metal - based on rhythm and instruments from all over the world - American music expresses the diversity of the country.

Even more than music, television and Hollywood movies present an image of America to the whole world. American cinema is one of the oldest and most successful in the world, and American TV shows are watched by billions of people.

Here is a list of words that describe the music, art, and entertainment of the United States:


Geography and Weather

Honestly, it’d be easier to list the kinds of geography and weather that America doesn’t have! In a country that ranges from the Arctic Circle to the Caribbean, from the flat swamps and hurricanes of Louisiana to the mountains and blizzards of the Rockies, almost every type of geography and weather phenomenon can be found.

Even when they occur in other places, some are classically American:

  • Appalachia
  • Bayou
  • Deep South
  • Denali
  • East Coast
  • El Niño
  • Flyover state
  • Grand Canyon
  • Great Plains
  • Hurricane
  • Kudzu
  • La Niña
  • Mammoth Cave
  • Midwest
  • Mississippi River
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Redwood
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Swampy
  • Tar pit
  • Tornado
  • West Coast

Government and Symbols

The United States is a democratic republic. That means every American adult gets a vote, and those voters choose people to represent them in government. The government is based on the US Constitution, which guarantees Americans legal rights enforced by the courts. America also has lots of symbols for itself.

Here are a few of those symbols:

  • American Bald Eagle
  • Great Seal
  • Liberty Bell
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Statue of Liberty
  • US Capitol
  • Washington Monument
  • White House

Here are some other words that describe the American government:

  • Congressional
  • Constitutional
  • Democracy
  • Governor
  • Legislature
  • Party politics
  • President
  • Republic
  • Senate
  • Supreme Court

E Pluribus Unum

The motto on the Great Seal of the United States sums up the country. It means “out of many, one.” Not only that, but the motto is in Latin, a language that not one American ever spoke natively! That’s America. The United States is made up of countless parts, most of them from other places. Some are good, some not so good, but all of them are part of what makes up the country. These words represent that.