from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A nation or state.
  • noun The territory of a nation or state; land.
  • noun The people of a nation or state; populace.
  • noun The land of a person's birth or citizenship.
  • noun A region, territory, or large tract of land distinguishable by features of topography, biology, or culture.
  • noun An area or expanse outside cities and towns; a rural area.
  • noun The people of a district who are eligible for jury service.
  • noun A jury.
  • noun Informal Country music.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or typical of the country.
  • adjective Of or relating to country music.
  • idiom (in country) In Vietnam during the period of US military operations there.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The parts of a cricket-field covered by the out-fielders; the long- or deep-field.
  • noun A region; a district of indefinite extent present to the view or thought, being or considered as the locality of residence, travel, exploration, or other action, or of description: as, a new country; a wild country; a rugged country; an unexplored country; the countries of central Asia.
  • noun The territory of a nation; an independent state, or a region once independent, and still distinct in name, population, or institutions, as England, Scotland, and Wales in Great Britain, the several states of the Austrian and German empires, etc.
  • noun The rural parts of a region, as opposed to cities or towns.
  • noun The place of one's nativity or citizenship; one's native soil; the land of one's nationality or allegiance by birth or adoption.
  • noun The inhabitants of a country; the people; the public.
  • noun Specifically In law, the public at large, as represented by a jury: as, a trial by the country; his plea concluded to the country (that is, it ended by requiring the submission of the issue to a jury).
  • noun In law, any place other than a court: as, a deed in the country, as opposed to an alienation by record—that is, in court.
  • noun In mining, the rock adjacent to the lode; the formation in which any mineral vein or deposit is inclosed. Sometimes called country-rock.
  • noun Nautical, that part of an apartment on board ship used in common by all officers of the same mess: as, the ward-room country.
  • Pertaining or peculiar to one's own country; national; native.
  • Pertaining or belonging to the country or to the rural parts of a region; being or living in the country; rural; rustic: as, country roads: country customs; a country gentleman; country cousins; a country life; the country party, as opposed to the city party.
  • Characteristic of the country or rural regions; hence, rustic; rude; unpolished: as, country manners.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pertaining to the regions remote from a city; rural; rustic.
  • adjective Destitute of refinement; rude; unpolished; rustic; not urbane.
  • adjective Pertaining, or peculiar, to one's own country.
  • noun A tract of land; a region; the territory of an independent nation; (as distinguished from any other region, and with a personal pronoun) the region of one's birth, permanent residence, or citizenship.
  • noun Rural regions, as opposed to a city or town.
  • noun The inhabitants or people of a state or a region; the populace; the public. Hence: (a) One's constituents. (b) The whole body of the electors of state.
  • noun A jury, as representing the citizens of a country.
  • noun The inhabitants of the district from which a jury is drawn.
  • noun (Mining.) The rock through which a vein runs.
  • noun See under Conclusion.
  • noun to appeal to one's constituents; to stand trial before a jury.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective From the countryside or connected with it.
  • adjective Of or connected to country music.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English countre, from Old French contree, from Vulgar Latin *(terra) contrāta, (land) opposite, before, from Latin contrā, opposite; see kom in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English contree, contre, from Old French contree, from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite; (land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite").


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  • "John Howard the Australian Prime Minister, flies to England for an audience with the Queen. Howard brings up his grand plans for the future of Australia. 'Your majesty', he begins, 'can we turn Australia into a Kingdom in order to increase its status in the world?'

    The Queen shakes her head and replies, 'One needs a King for a Kingdom and you are most certainly not a King, Mr Howard.'

    Not to be dissuaded, he asks 'Would it possible to be an Empire then?' 'No,' retorts the Queen. 'You need an Emperor for an Empire and you are most certainly not an Emperor.'

    'Aw shucks, what about a Principality then?' tries Howard. Predictably, the Queen replies, 'You need a Prince for a Principality and you are most certainly not a Prince.'

    Her Majesty takes a sip of tea and adds, 'Mr. Howard, having met you and several other Australians I think Australia is perfectly suited to being a country.'"


    February 22, 2009