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 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.
  • noun The parts of a cricket-field covered by the out-fielders; the long- or deep-field.

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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  • Born in an American Stalinist medical facility**** to foreign parents, he spent his early years nomadically, drifting from country to country***** as his feckless father moved the family in search of lasting employment******.

    Support Al Kemal for Mayor of London: the People’s Choice! « raincoaster 2007

  • “As a result of the serious work that the Government, Parliament, the general public and the judiciary have done since 1994 to place our country on path of fundamental social transformation, the Government is firmly of the view that, substantially, we have elaborated the policy, legislative and constitutional base that will enable us to achieve the transformation of our country…

    Women Marching into the African Century 2001

  • Taking all these circumstances into view, it is not going too far to assert, that on equal fortunes the assessed taxes are _twice as heavy_ in the country as in towns; and that of £3,312,000 which they produce annually, after deducting the land tax, about £2,500,000, is paid by _landowners either in town or country_.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 61, No. 376, February, 1847 Various

  • -- While his regiment was in daily expectation of receiving orders for Ireland, some one told him, that country quarters in the sister kingdom were so filthy, that the rich uniforms of his corps would soon be lamentably soiled: 'Let the men act as dragoons, then,' said his royal highness, 'and _scour the country_.'

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 535, February 25, 1832 Various

  • At another time, when we were spending the summer at our country place, near the city, another citizen of the “auld country” presented himself and asked for work.

    A Biographical Sketch of the Life and Character of Joseph Charless In a Series of Letters to his Grandchildren Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless

  • I do know that they have done all that in them lay that they might have no country, —that all the honors, associations, memories, and hopes which belong to “country” might be broken up into little shreds and distributed to the winds.

    The Man without a Country 1917

  • Abd-el-Hafid, proclaimed Sultan at Fez, was recognized by the whole country, but he found himself unable to cope with the factious tribes (those outside the Blad-el-Makhzen, or _governed country_).

    In Morocco Edith Wharton 1899

  • _ The difference between this motto of the _Liberator_ and that of the _Free Press_: _Our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country_ -- measures the greatness of the revolution which had taken place in the young editor.

    William Lloyd Garrison The Abolitionist Archibald Henry Grimk�� 1889

  • We love our country because it is _our country_; our home because it is _home_: London or Paris we may prefer, as comprehending in themselves, all the intellectual pleasures, and luxuries of life: but, dear Italy!

    The Diary of an Ennuyée 1827

  • "_That the country of D'Elmina, which was formerly very powerful and populous, was in his time so much drained of its inhabitants by the intestine wars fomented amongst the Negroes by the Dutch, that there did not remain inhabitants enough to till the country_."

    Some Historical Account of Guinea, Its Situation, Produce, and the General Disposition of Its Inhabitants An Inquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Slave Trade, Its Nature and Lamentable Effects Anthony Benezet 1748


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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