A country of north-central Europe. Occupied since c. 500 BC by Germanic tribes, the region became part of the Frankish empire by the sixth century AD. Later it became a loose federation of principalities and the nucleus of the Holy Roman Empire until the imperial state was broken up by Napoleon in 1806. Germany became a confederation after 1815 and then an empire centered around Prussia (1871-1918). Following its defeat in World War I, it was reorganized as the Weimar Republic, which collapsed when Adolf Hitler rose to power and formed the Third Reich. Germany's defeat in 1945 at the end of World War II resulted in its division into four occupation zones, each controlled by an Allied power. Out of the US, French, and British zones West Germany was established in 1949, while the Soviet zone became East Germany. The two Germanies were reunified in 1990 after the fall of the East German Communist government. Berlin is the capital and largest city.
(click for a larger image)Germany
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.