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United States definition


This page has 4 definitions of United States in English. United States is a proper noun. Examples of how to use United States in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



Proper noun

the United States

  1. (in the singular, formerly also plural) Ellipsis of United States of America.
    • 1793 December 3, George Washington, Fifth State of the Union Address:
      As soon as the war in Europe had embraced those powers with whom the United States have the most extensive relations there was reason to apprehend that our intercourse with them might be interrupted and our disposition for peace drawn into question by the suspicions too often entertained by belligerent nations.
    • 1964, John F. Kennedy, “The Immigrant Contribution”, in A Nation of Immigrants[1], Revised and Enlarged edition, Harper & Row, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 64:
      As we have seen, people migrated to the United States for a variety of reasons. But nearly all shared two great hopes: the hope for personal freedom and the hope for economic opportunity.
    • 1965, Harry S. Truman, 0:26 from the start, in MP2002-401 Former President Truman Discusses "The Buck Stops Here"[2], Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives Identifier: 595162:
      I used to have a sign on my desk that said, "The Buck Stops Here." The buck stops at the president's desk when he's president of the United States, and he either makes the decisions or he lets them go by default, and you can't afford to do that when you're president.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[3]:
      “King Homer” follows the story of King Kong closely, with Mr. Burns taking the freakishly over-sized King Homer from his native Africa, where he lives proud as a simian god, to the United States, where he is an initially impressive but ultimately rather limited Broadway attraction.
  2. (in the plural) The collection of individual states of the United States of America.
    The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State. (Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, 1794)
    • 1781, January 10, Samuel Huntington, letter to John Adams:[4]
      Congress have no expectations from the influence which the people of England may have on the British counsels, whatever may be the disposition of that nation or their magistrates towards these United States.
  3. (nation's name) Federal nation consisting of several states, actual, historical or hypothetical.
    Republic of the United States of Brazil.
    The United States of Europe.

Usage notes

During the first few decades after independence authors commonly treated United States as a plural noun, but in contemporary English it is always singular.


Coordinate terms

Derived terms



  • Joint Publication 1-02 U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; 12 April 2001 (As Amended Through 14 April 2006)

Further reading