country

noun
coun·​try | \ ˈkən-trē How to pronounce country (audio) \
plural countries

Definition of country

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an indefinite usually extended expanse of land : region miles of open country
2a : the land of a person's birth, residence, or citizenship left their country for America
b : a political state or nation or its territory the country of Italy
3a : the people of a state or district : populace Most of the country voted to end the death penalty.
b : jury
c : electorate sense 2 The government will go to the country with this issue.
4 : rural as distinguished from urban areas prefers the country to the city
6 geology : country rock sense 2

country

adjective

Definition of country (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the country country living
2a : of or relating to a decorative style associated with life in the country an English country look also : possessing a style of rustic simplicity country furniture
b : prepared or processed with farm supplies and procedures country ham
3 : of, relating to, suitable for, or featuring country music country singers

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Other Words from country

Noun

countryish \ ˈkən-​trē-​ish How to pronounce countryish (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for country

Synonyms: Noun

fatherland, home, homeland, mother country, motherland, sod

Synonyms: Adjective

bucolic, pastoral, rural, rustic (also rustical)

Antonyms: Adjective

urban

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Did You Know?

The English word country is derived from Latin contra, which means “against” or “on the opposite side.” In Medieval Latin the noun contrata was formed from contra. Contrata was literally “that which is situated opposite the beholder.” But that which is opposite the beholder is just what he or she sees. So contrata meant “landscape.” It also came to mean “expanse of land, region.” This was the original meaning of English country, which over the years has itself developed a number of new meanings.

Examples of country in a Sentence

Noun

The two countries have a lot in common. They drove across the country from California to New York. They are living in different parts of the country. The whole country was stunned by the news. The President has the support of most of the country. He moved to the north country to fish and hunt. We went camping in the hill country. They drove through miles of open country. She lives out in the country. They prefer the country to the city.

Adjective

plain country living among unpretentious people
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The European Union has set aside $858 million in disaster relief funds to help its member countries harmed by a no-deal Brexit. Washington Post, "Britain’s Boris Johnson pushing for new election as casualties mount in Brexit battle," 5 Sep. 2019 Several prominent football clubs have taken to social media to express their condolences to Cafu, 49, who represented his country a record 142 times over a 16-year career. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "Brazil World Cup winner Cafu's son dies after playing football," 5 Sep. 2019 Out of the roughly 200 countries in the entire world, the U.S. is one of just two that allows drug companies to advertise on TV. Damian Garde, STAT, "Watch: Direct-to-consumer drug advertising, explained," 5 Sep. 2019 Any number of the frontline could bolster their numbers for their country. SI.com, "England vs Bulgaria Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 4 Sep. 2019 Native Americans have long been working to increase their representation within the country’s political institutions. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Kimberly Teehee Is the Cherokee Nation’s First Delegate to Congress," 4 Sep. 2019 The new voter feels that his country has been embarrassingly weak for too long and must demonstrate its strength. Johann Chacko, Quartz India, "Like Pakistan, India may soon face the catastrophic costs of steroid-driven nationalism," 3 Sep. 2019 And their countries are much less able to hide Korean, Chinese, or Russian help in building nuclear facilities. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Israel’s Good and Bad New Realities," 3 Sep. 2019 The United States isn’t the only country headed down this path. The Atlantic, "Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'country.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of country

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for country

Noun and Adjective

Middle English contree, from Anglo-French cuntree, contré, from Medieval Latin contrata, from Latin contra against, on the opposite side

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Statistics for country

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for country

The first known use of country was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for country

country

noun

English Language Learners Definition of country

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area of land that is controlled by its own government
: the people who live in a country
: an area or region that has a particular quality or feature or is known for a particular activity.

country

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of country (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the country
: of or relating to country music

country

noun
coun·​try | \ ˈkən-trē How to pronounce country (audio) \
plural countries

Kids Definition of country

1 : a land lived in by a people with a common government the countries of Europe
2 : region sense 1, district good farming country
3 : open rural land away from big towns and cities Take a ride in the country.
4 : the people of a nation a whole country in revolt

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More from Merriam-Webster on country

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for country

Spanish Central: Translation of country

Nglish: Translation of country for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of country for Arabic Speakers

Comments on country

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