America is the great land mass of the Western Hemisphere. It is made up of North and South America. The mainland of America is the longest north-to-south land mass on Earth. The greatest distance of its mainland from north to south is about 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometers), from the Boothia Peninsula in Canada to Cape Froward in Chile. The westernmost point of mainland America is at the Seward Peninsula on the west coast of Alaska. Northeastern Brazil is the easternmost point. North and South America are connected by a land bridge that is narrowest at the Isthmus of Panama. America also includes many islands north, south, east, and west of the mainland.
The word America is believed to be in honor of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. It was first used only for South America but was later applied to the whole Western Hemisphere. Today, the term is often used to refer to the United States of America.