With the, the citizens or inhabitants of Britain collectively.
The Celtic language of the ancient Britons.
Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to British
- the British
Origin of British
In Old English as Bryttisc (“Britons”) . The spelling with single -t- appears in the 13th century under the influence of Latin Britannia, but spelling with -tt- persists alongside -t- during the 13th to 17th centuries.
In reference to the island of Great Britain from ca. 1400 (Latin natio Anglica sive Britannica, Brittisshe occean 1398, the Britishe nacion 1548). As a noun, referring to the British people, British soldiers, etc. from ca. 1600.
Middle English Brittish from Old English Bryttisc relating to the ancient Britons from Bryttas Britons of Celtic origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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