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 Dictionary entry overview: What does country mean? 

COUNTRY (noun)
  The noun COUNTRY has 5 senses:

1. the territory occupied by a nation
2. a politically organized body of people under a single government
3. the people who live in a nation or country
4. an area outside of cities and towns
5. a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)

  Familiarity information: COUNTRY used as a noun is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

COUNTRY (noun)

Sense 1country [BACK TO TOP]


The territory occupied by a nation

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position


country; land; state

Context examples:

he returned to the land of his birth / he visited several European countries

Hypernyms ("country" is a kind of...):

administrative district; administrative division; territorial division (a district defined for administrative purposes)

Meronyms (parts of "country"):

demesne; domain; land (territory over which rule or control is exercised)

midland (the interior part of a country)

Meronyms (members of "country"):

province; state (the territory occupied by one of the constituent administrative districts of a nation)

department (the territorial and administrative division of some countries (such as France))

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "country"):

sultanate (country or territory ruled by a sultan)

North American country; North American nation (a country on the North American continent)

South American country; South American nation (countries occupying the South American continent)

Asian country; Asian nation (nations occupying the Asian continent)

African country; African nation (countries occupying the African continent)

European country; European nation (countries occupying the European continent)

tax haven (a country or independent region where taxes are low)

banana republic (a small country (especially in Central America) that is politically unstable and whose economy is dominated by foreign companies and depends on one export (such as bananas))

country of origin; fatherland; homeland; mother country; motherland; native land (the country where you were born)

buffer country; buffer state (a small neutral state between two rival powers)

kingdom (a country with a king as head of state)

Instance hyponyms:

Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Christopher-Nevis; Saint Kitts and Nevis; St. Christopher-Nevis; St. Kitts and Nevis (a country on several of the Leeward Islands; located east southeast of Puerto Rico; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1983)

Philippines; Republic of the Philippines (a republic on the Philippine Islands; achieved independence from the United States in 1946)

Palau; Republic of Palau; TT (a republic in the western central Pacific Ocean in association with the United States)

New Zealand (an independent country within the British Commonwealth; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1907; known for sheep and spectacular scenery)

Mauritius; Republic of Mauritius (a parliamentary state on the island of Mauritius)

Malta; Republic of Malta (a republic on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1964)

Maldives; Republic of Maldives (a republic on the Maldive Islands; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1965)

Grenada (an island state in the West Indies in the southeastern Caribbean Sea; an independent state within the British Commonwealth)

Dutch East Indies; Indonesia; Republic of Indonesia (a republic in southeastern Asia on an archipelago including more than 13,000 islands; achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1945; the principal oil producer in the Far East and Pacific regions)

Burkina Faso; Upper Volta (a desperately poor landlocked country in western Africa; was formerly Upper Volta under French rule but gained independence in 1960)

Saint Lucia; St. Lucia (a country on the island of Saint Lucia; gained independence from Great Britain in 1979)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; St. Vincent and the Grenadines (an island country in the central Windward Islands; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1979)

Independent State of Samoa; Samoa; Samoa i Sisifo; Western Samoa (a constitutional monarchy on the western part of the islands of Samoa in the South Pacific)

New Hebrides; Republic of Vanuatu; Vanuatu (a volcanic island republic in Melanesia; independent since 1980)

Republic of Turkey; Turkey (a Eurasian republic in Asia Minor and the Balkans; achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1923)

Friendly Islands; Kingdom of Tonga; Tonga (a monarchy on a Polynesian archipelago in the South Pacific; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1970)

Turkmen; Turkmenia; Turkmenistan; Turkomen (a republic in Asia east of the Caspian Sea and south of Kazakhstan and north of Iran; an Asian soviet from 1925 to 1991)

Ukraine; Ukrayina (a republic in southeastern Europe; formerly a European soviet; the center of the original Russian state which came into existence in the ninth century)

Russia; Russian Federation (a federation in northeastern Europe and northern Asia; formerly Soviet Russia; since 1991 an independent state)

Russia; Soviet Union; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; USSR (a former communist country in eastern Europe and northern Asia; established in 1922; included Russia and 14 other soviet socialist republics (Ukraine and Byelorussia and others); officially dissolved 31 December 1991)

Rus (the medieval Russian state established by Scandinavian traders in the 9th century; the capital was first in Novgorod and then in Kiev)

Solomon Islands (the southern Solomon Islands that since 1978 form an independent state in the British Commonwealth)

Republic of Seychelles; Seychelles (a republic on the Seychelles islands; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1976)

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Sao Thome e Principe; Sao Tome and Principe; Sao Tome e Principe; St. Thomas and Principe (island nation in the South Atlantic off the West coast of Africa; achieved independence from Portugal in 1975; has enormous offshore oil reserves)

Bahama Islands; Bahamas; Commonwealth of the Bahamas (island country in the Atlantic east of Florida and Cuba; a popular winter resort)

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Trinidad and Tobago (an island republic in the West Indies off the northeastern coast of Venezuela; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1962)

Barbados (a parliamentary democracy on the island of Barbados; former British colony; a popular resort area)

Jamaica (a country on the island of Jamaica; became independent of England in 1962; much poverty; the major industry is tourism)

Dominican Republic (a republic in the West Indies; located on the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola)

Haiti; Republic of Haiti (a republic in the West Indies on the western part of the island of Hispaniola; achieved independence from France in 1804; the poorest and most illiterate nation in the western hemisphere)

Cuba; Republic of Cuba (a communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba)

Comoros; Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros (a country on the Comoro Islands)

Ceylon; Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka (a republic on the island of Ceylon; became independent of the United Kingdom in 1948)

Cape Verde; Republic of Cape Verde (an island country in the Atlantic off the coast of Senegal)

Antigua and Barbuda (a country in the northern Leeward Islands)

Cyprus; Republic of Cyprus (a country on the island of Cyprus; 80% of the people are of Greek origin and 20% or Turkish origin)

Commonwealth of Dominica; Dominica (a country on the island of Dominica)

East Timor (a former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia in 1976; voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999 and in May 2002 became an independent nation)

Independent State of Papua New Guinea; Papua New Guinea (a parliamentary democracy on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea)

Nauru; Republic of Nauru (an island republic on Nauru Island; phosphate exports support the economy)

Kiribati; Republic of Kiribati (an island republic in the west central Pacific just south of the equator)

Tuvalu (a small island republic on the Tuvalu islands; formerly part of the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands until it withdrew in 1975 and became independent of the United Kingdom in 1978)

Marshall Islands; Republic of the Marshall Islands (a republic (under United States protection) on the Marshall Islands)

Federated States of Micronesia; Micronesia; TT (a country scattered over Micronesia with a constitutional government in free association with the United States; achieved independence in 1986)

Australia; Commonwealth of Australia (a nation occupying the whole of the Australian continent; aboriginal tribes are thought to have migrated from southeastern Asia 20,000 years ago; first Europeans were British convicts sent there as a penal colony)

Etruria (an ancient country in central Italy; assimilated by the Romans by about 200 BC)

Israel; Sion; State of Israel; Yisrael; Zion (Jewish republic in southwestern Asia at eastern end of Mediterranean; formerly part of Palestine)

Fiji; Republic of Fiji (an independent state within the British Commonwealth located on the Fiji Islands)

Sense 2country [BACK TO TOP]


A politically organized body of people under a single government

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects


res publica; nation; body politic; country; commonwealth; state; land

Context examples:

the state has elected a new president / African nations / students who had come to the nation's capitol / the country's largest manufacturer / an industrialized land

Hypernyms ("country" is a kind of...):

political entity; political unit (a unit with political responsibilities)

Meronyms (parts of "country"):

estate; estate of the realm (a major social class or order of persons regarded collectively as part of the body politic of the country and formerly possessing distinct political rights)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "country"):

ally (a friendly nation)

city state; city-state (a state consisting of a sovereign city)

great power; major power; power; superpower; world power (a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world)

sea power (a nation that possesses formidable naval strength)

suzerain (a state exercising a degree of dominion over a dependent state especially in its foreign affairs)

renegade state; rogue nation; rogue state (a state that does not respect other states in its international actions)

Reich (the German state)

foreign country (any state of which you are not a citizen)

Dominion (one of the self-governing nations in the British Commonwealth)

developing country (a country that is poor and whose citizens are mostly agricultural workers but that wants to become more advanced socially and economically)

commonwealth country (any of the countries in the British Commonwealth)

Instance hyponyms:

Eelam; Tamil Eelam (the independent state that the Tamil Tigers have fought for)

Sense 3country [BACK TO TOP]


The people who live in a nation or country

Classified under:

Nouns denoting groupings of people or objects


nation; country; land

Context examples:

a statement that sums up the nation's mood / the news was announced to the nation / the whole country worshipped him

Hypernyms ("country" is a kind of...):

people ((plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively)

Meronyms (members of "country"):

national; subject (a person who owes allegiance to that nation)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "country"):

Dutch; Dutch people (the people of the Netherlands)

Swiss; Swiss people (the natives or inhabitants of Switzerland)

Spanish; Spanish people (the people of Spain)

French; French people (the people of France)

Irish; Irish people (people of Ireland or of Irish extraction)

English; English people (the people of England)

British; British people; Brits (the people of Great Britain)

Sense 4country [BACK TO TOP]


An area outside of cities and towns

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position


rural area; country

Context example:

his poetry celebrated the slower pace of life in the country

Hypernyms ("country" is a kind of...):

geographic area; geographic region; geographical area; geographical region (a demarcated area of the Earth)

Meronyms (parts of "country"):

grazing land; lea; ley; pasture; pastureland (a field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by livestock)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "country"):

weald (an area of open or forested country)

scrubland (an uncultivated region covered with scrub vegetation)

countryside (rural regions)

farming area; farmland (a rural area where farming is practiced)

back country; backwoods; boondocks; hinterland (a remote and undeveloped area)

wold (a tract of open rolling country (especially upland))

Sense 5country [BACK TO TOP]


A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position


area; country

Context examples:

it was a mountainous area / Bible country

Hypernyms ("country" is a kind of...):

region (a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "country"):

retreat (a place of privacy; a place affording peace and quiet)

block; city block (a rectangular area in a city surrounded by streets and usually containing several buildings)

playground; resort area; vacation spot (an area where many people go for recreation)

anchorage; anchorage ground (place for vessels to anchor)

free port; free zone (an area adjoining a port where goods that are intended for reshipment can be received and stored without payment of duties)

clear; open (a clear or unobstructed space or expanse of land or water)

refuge; safety (a safe place)

danger (a dangerous place)

scene (the place where some action occurs)

section (a distinct region or subdivision of a territorial or political area or community or group of people)

shrubbery (an area where a number of shrubs are planted)

space (an area reserved for some particular purpose)

tank farm (an area used exclusively for storing petroleum in large tanks)

winner's circle (a small area at a racecourse where awards are given to the owners of winning horses)

staging area (an area where troops and equipment in transit are assembled before a military operation)

rain shadow (an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it)

arena (the central area of an ancient Roman amphitheater where contests and spectacles were held; especially an area that was strewn with sand)

bed ground; bed-ground; bedground (an area on which a drove of cattle or sheep can sleep for a night)

broadcast area (the area over which a radio or tv transmission can be received)

center; centre; eye; heart; middle (an area that is approximately central within some larger region)

corner (a place off to the side of an area)

corner (a remote area)

disaster area (a region whose population is affected by a general disaster)

hangout; haunt; repair; resort; stamping ground (a frequently visited place)

quadrant (any of the four areas into which a plane is divided by two orthogonal coordinate axes)

quadrant (the area enclosed by two perpendicular radii of a circle)

no man's land (an unoccupied area between the front lines of opposing armies)

no-go area (an area that is dangerous or impossible to enter or to which entry is forbidden)

hunting ground (an area in which game is hunted)

fireside; hearth (an area near a fireplace (usually paved and extending out into a room))

Instance hyponyms:

Bermuda Triangle (an area in the western Atlantic Ocean where many ships and planes are supposed to have been mysteriously lost)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"No hoof, no horse." (English proverb)

"Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours." (Native American proverbs and quotes, Chief Tecumseh)

"With carefulness you realize your opportunity." (Arabic proverb)

"Even the king saves his money." (Corsican proverb)

 COUNTRY: related words searches 

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