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The Americas

The Americas (sometimes referred to as America) is the area including the two continents located between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, namely North America and South America. The term also usually includes the islands in and around the Caribbean Sea. The isthmus of Central America is usually considered geographically part of North America. The Americas are often also described collectively as the Western Hemisphere or the New World.

Most Spanish language references consider there to be no separation between North America and South America but only one continent America. However, many Spanish speakers consider America del norte and America del sur to be separate continents. The use of America to refer to the New World as a whole is also sometimes used in English, such as in the common phrase "Columbus discovered America".

People who live in the Americas are sometimes referred to as being American, although in the English-speaking world the word "American" is more commonly used to refer only to a citizen of the United States of America.

See naming of America for a discussion of how the Americas were named.



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