German

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noun (1)

Ger·​man ˈjər-mən How to pronounce German (audio)
1
a
: a native or inhabitant of Germany
b
: a person of German descent
c
: one whose native language is German and who is a native of a country other than Germany
2
a
: the Germanic language spoken mainly in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland
b
: the literary and official language of Germany
3
: a member of any of the Germanic peoples inhabiting western Europe in Roman times
4
often not capitalized
a
: a dance consisting of intricate figures that are improvised and intermingled with waltzes
b
chiefly Midland US : a dancing party
specifically : one at which the german is danced

German

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adjective (1)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of Germany, the Germans, or German

german

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adjective (2)

ger·​man ˈjər-mən How to pronounce german (audio)
: having the same parents or the same grandparents on either the maternal or paternal side
usually used after the noun which it modifies and joined to it by a hyphen
brother-germancousin-german

german

4 of 4

noun (2)

obsolete
: a near relative

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Medieval Latin Germanus, from Latin

Adjective (2)

Middle English germain, from Anglo-French, from Latin germanus having the same parents, from germen

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of German was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near German

Cite this Entry

“German.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/German. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

German

noun
Ger·​man
ˈjər-mən
1
: a person born or living in Germany
2
: the Germanic language of Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland
German adjective

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