America [for Amerigo Vespucci], the lands of the Western Hemisphere—North America, Central (or Middle) America, and South America. The world map published in 1507 by Martin Waldseemüller is the first known cartographic use of the name. In English, America and American are frequently used to refer only to the United States.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.