adjective (1)
ger·​man | \ ˈjər-mən How to pronounce german (audio) \

Definition of german

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: 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


noun (1)

Definition of german (Entry 2 of 4)

: a near relative


noun (2)
Ger·​man | \ ˈjər-mən How to pronounce German (audio) \

Definition of German (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a member of any of the Germanic peoples inhabiting western Europe in Roman times
2a : 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
3a : the Germanic language spoken mainly in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland
b : the literary and official language of Germany

4 often not capitalized

a : a dance consisting of intricate figures that are improvised and intermingled with waltzes
b chiefly Midland : a dancing party specifically : one at which the german is danced


adjective (2)

Definition of German (Entry 4 of 4)

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

Examples of german in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Over the past 2 years, more than 150 German libraries, universities, and research institutes have formed a united front trying to force academic publishers into a new way of doing business. Gretchen Vogel, Science | AAAS, "A bold open-access push in Germany could change the future of academic publishing," 23 Aug. 2017 Chancellor bidding for fourth term in Sept. 24 German election Party wary of Election Day surprise even with SPD trailing All that stands between Angela Merkel and a fourth term is six weeks of campaigning. Patrick Donahue,, "Angela Merkel Has Six Weeks to Make History," 10 Aug. 2017 A 2-year-old German Shepherd, Kano comes to Slidell by way of the Netherlands and will begin patrolling with Morris sometime in September, the police department said. Bob Warren,, "Meet 'Kano,' Slidell's newest crime-fighting dog," 2 Aug. 2017 Investigators ask anyone with information to call Broward Sheriff’s Detective German Bickbau at 954-926-2400. Caitlin Randle,, "Dania Beach apartment manager accused of stealing from 84-year-old tenant," 1 Aug. 2017 The rest of the list includes: Honey Lager Light, Bavarian Weiss, Oktoberfest, Punch You in the IPA, Black Lager German style Schwartzbier. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beer lover's guide to brews at the Wisconsin State Fair," 31 July 2017 Aries, a 10-year-old German Shepherd, died Sunday, police said in a statement this week. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "St. Charles police K-9 Aries dies after 9 years with department," 21 June 2017 Hoosierstaat Bierfest 5 to 10 p.m., July 7, German Park, 8600 S. Meridian St., $25-$30, (317) 888-6940 or, search: Hoosierstaat. Justin Jacobs, Indianapolis Star, "Tater tots, tacos top Indianapolis food events this July," 20 June 2017 In the 1990 German election, the first after unification, Kohl and the CDU triumphed easily. Krishnadev Calamur, The Atlantic, "Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl Dies," 16 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'german.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of german

Adjective (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for german

Adjective (1)

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

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Medieval Latin Germanus, from Latin

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Time Traveler for german

The first known use of german was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of German

: a person born, raised, or living in Germany : a person whose family is from Germany
: the language of Germany that is also spoken in Austria, parts of Switzerland, and other places


Ger·​man | \ ˈjər-mən How to pronounce German (audio) \

Kids Definition of German

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person born or living in Germany
2 : the language spoken mainly in Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland



Kids Definition of German (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on german

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with german

Spanish Central: Translation of german

Nglish: Translation of german for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of german for Arabic Speakers

Comments on german

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to take the place or position of

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