African American


variants or less commonly African-American
ˌa-fri-kə-nə-ˈmer-ə-kən How to pronounce African American (audio)
 also  ˌä-
plural African Americans also African-Americans
: an American of African and especially of Black African descent
African American adjective
or less commonly African-American

Word History

First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of African American was in 1782

Dictionary Entries Near African American

Cite this Entry

“African American.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an American having African and especially black African ancestors
African-American adjective
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