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Britain(brĭt`ən), alternate term for Great Britain, comprised of England, Scotland, and Wales. Often used synonymously with the United Kingdom, the name Britain is derived from Britannia, given by the Romans to the portion of the island of Great Britain that they occupied. It has sometimes been used to refer to Great Britain in the period before the Germanic invasions of the 5th cent. A.D. After the union (1707) of England and Scotland, parliamentary legislation for a time used "South Britain" and "North Britain" to refer to the two parts. For a more complete history, see Great BritainGreat Britain,
officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2011 pop. 63,181,775), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain.
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poetic name for England. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 19]
yeoman of the English royal guard, esp. at the Tower of London; slang for Englishman. [Br. Culture: Misc.]
Court of St
personification of Britain. [Br. Folklore: Benét, 45]
. James’s British royal court. [Br. Hist.: Misc.]
God Save the Queen
patron saint of Britain. [Br. Hist.: Golden Legend]
Nation of Shopkeepers
British national anthem. [Br. Culture: Scholes, 408]
name disdainfully given to Britain by Napoleon Bonaparte. [Fr. Hist.: Wheeler, 256]
10 Downing Street
patriotic song of Britain. [Br. Culture: Scholes, 897–898]
the British government; refers to location of Prime Minister’s residence [Br. Culture: Benét, 286]
British national flag. [Br. Culture: Misc.]
many government offices on this street; synonymous with government. [Br. Hist.: NCE, 2970]