What does German mean?

Definitions for German
ˈdʒɜr mənger·man

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word German.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Germannoun

    a person of German nationality

  2. German, High German, German languageadjective

    the standard German language; developed historically from West Germanic

  3. Germanadjective

    of or pertaining to or characteristic of Germany or its people or language

    "German philosophers"; "German universities"; "German literature"


  1. Germannoun

    An inhabitant of Germany; a person of German descent.

  2. Germannoun

    A member of a Germanic tribe.

    Rome was sacked by Germans and the Western Roman Empire collapsed.

  3. Germanadjective

    Of or relating to the country of Germany.

    He is half German, half American.

  4. Germanadjective

    Of or relating to the natives or inhabitants of Germany; to people of German descent.


  5. Germanadjective

    Of, in or relating to the German language.

  6. Germannoun

    An Indo-European (Indo-Germanic) language, primarily spoken in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, South Tyrol, Switzerland, Luxembourg and a small part of Belgium.

    German has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter.

  7. germannoun

    A near relative.

  8. germanadjective

    Having the same mother and father; a full (brother or sister).

    He is half German, half American.

  9. germanadjective

    Being born to one's blood aunt or uncle, a first (cousin).


  10. germanadjective

    Closely related, akin.

  11. Etymology: From germani, as distinct from Gauls (Caesar, Tacitus).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Germanadjective


    Etymology: germanus, Latin.

    Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are german to him, though removed fifty times, shall come under the hangman. William Shakespeare.

  2. Germannoun

    Brother; one approaching to a brother in proximity of blood: thus the children of brothers or sisters are called cousins german.

    Etymology: germain, French; germanus, Lat.

    They knew it was their cousin german, the famous Amphialus. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    And to him said, go now, proud miscreant,
    Thyself thy message do to german dear. Fairy Queen, b. i.

    These Germans did subdue all Germany,
    Of whom it hight; but in the end their fire,
    With foul repulse, from France was forced to retire. F. Q.

    Wert thou a bear, thou wouldst be kill’d by the horse; wert thou a horse, thou wouldst be seiz’d by the leopard; wert thou a leopard, thou wert german to the lion, and the spots of thy kindred were juries on thy life. William Shakespeare, Timon.

    You’ll have your nephews neigh to you; you’ll have coursers for cousins, and genets for germans. William Shakespeare, Othello.


  1. german

    German is primarily used as an adjective or a noun and can refer to: 1) Anything related to Germany, a country in Central Europe. This includes culture, language, geography, or people. 2) As a language, German is the official language of Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein, and it is one of the official languages of Switzerland. 3) As a person, a German is a national or native of Germany. It is also used to describe something that has characteristics unique or specific to Germany or its culture.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Germanadjective

    nearly related; closely akin

  2. Germannoun

    a native or one of the people of Germany

  3. Germannoun

    the German language

  4. Germannoun

    a round dance, often with a waltz movement, abounding in capriciosly involved figures

  5. Germannoun

    a social party at which the german is danced

  6. Germannoun

    of or pertaining to Germany

  7. Etymology: [OE. german, germain, F. germain, fr. L. germanus full, own (said of brothers and sisters who have the same parents); akin to germen germ. Cf. Germ, Germane.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. German

    jėr′man, adj. of the first degree, as cousins german: closely allied.—n. one from the same stock or closely allied.—adj. Germane′, nearly related: relevant, appropriate. [O. Fr. germain—L. germanus, prob. for germinanusgermen, -inis, origin.]

  2. German

    jėr′man, n. a native of Germany; the German language:—pl. Ger′mans.—adj. of or from Germany.—adjs. Germanesque′, marked by German characteristics; German′ic, pertaining to Germany.—adv. German′ically.—v.i. Ger′manise, to show German qualities.—adj. Ger′manish, somewhat German in qualities.—ns. Ger′manism, an idiom of the German language; Ger′manist.—adj. Germanis′tic, pertaining to the study of German.—n. Ger′man-sil′ver, an alloy of copper, nickel, and zinc, white like silver, and first made in Germany.—High German, the variety of Teutonic speech, originally confined to 'High' or Southern Germany, but now accepted as the literary language throughout the whole of Germany; Low German, properly Plattdeutsch, the general name for the dialects of Germany which are not High German, but also applied by philologists to all the West Germanic dialects except High German (including English, Dutch, Frisian), and formerly in a still wider sense including also Gothic and Scandinavian. [L. Germani, 'shouters,' from Celt. gairm, a loud cry; or 'neighbours'—i.e. to the Gauls, from Celt. (Old Ir.) gair, a neighbour.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, German is ranked #2182 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The German surname appeared 16,661 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 6 would have the surname German.

    58.6% or 9,773 total occurrences were White.
    24.3% or 4,057 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    13.9% or 2,326 total occurrences were Black.
    1.2% or 210 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.9% or 150 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.8% or 143 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'German' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #986

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'German' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2518

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'German' in Nouns Frequency: #1096

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'German' in Adjectives Frequency: #123

Anagrams for German »

  1. manger

  2. ragmen

  3. engram

  4. Engram

How to pronounce German?

How to say German in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of German in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of German in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of German in a Sentence

  1. Sigmar Gabriel:

    Many people in Germany and Europe are mourning this courageous, upright and great Social Democrat, the architect of German unity, a politician who worked for peace, and a European, the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr was a crucial condition for overcoming the division of Germany and Europe.

  2. Capital Economics:

    Presumably any worries about the effect of the Greek crisis on the German economy were offset by expectations of ECB quantitative easing and hopes of a boost to exports from the weakening euro.

  3. Heinrich Heine:

    The German is like the slave who, without chains, obeys his masters merest word, his very glance. The condition of servitude is inherent in him, in his very soul and worse than the physical is the spiritual slavery. The Germans must be set free from wit

  4. Thomas Gitzel:

    The decent increase (in German orders) in June is good news, but is no cause for immediate celebration. In view of the trade conflicts, humility is required.

  5. Yuri Ushakov:

    Naturally the situation in Ukraine will be among the main topics of the talks with the German chancellor.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for German

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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