Uncle Sam

Un·cle Sam

noun \ˌəŋ-kəl-ˈsam\

: the American government, nation, or people pictured or thought of as a person

Full Definition of UNCLE SAM

:  the United States government
:  the American nation or people

Examples of UNCLE SAM

  1. Uncle Sam wants you to join the Army!

Origin of UNCLE SAM

expansion of U.S., abbreviation of United States
First Known Use: 1813

Uncle Sam

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Army recruiting poster featuring “Uncle Sam,” designed by James Montgomery Flagg, 1917.—The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Popular U.S. symbol, usually associated with a cartoon figure having long white hair and chin whiskers and dressed in a swallow-tailed coat, vest, tall hat, and striped trousers. The name probably originated with “Uncle Sam” Wilson, a businessman who provided beef to the army during the War of 1812. The “U.S.” stamp on his barrels, meant to indicate government property, came to be associated with his nickname, which in time came to symbolize the U.S. government. The Uncle Sam figure evolved in the hands of British and U.S. cartoonists; its most familiar treatment appeared on recruiting posters during World Wars I and II with the caption “I want you.”


Next Word in the Dictionary: uncleship
Previous Word in the Dictionary: unclench
All Words Near: Uncle Sam

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up Uncle Sam? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).