country

noun
coun·​try | \ ˈkən-trē \
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 \ 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

That wealth that stands in contrast to a deepening economic contraction and the plight of most Venezuelans, circumstances that have sparked a mass migration out of the country. Ian Talley, WSJ, "U.S. Targets Huge Currency Scheme in Venezuela Before Maduro Inauguration," 8 Jan. 2019 If the storm reaches its maximum strength, parts of the country may look like a winter wonderland. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The First Major Snowstorm of 2019 Will Hit a Large Part of the Country This Weekend," 8 Jan. 2019 The next total solar eclipse to hit the United States will happen on April 8, 2024, and will pass across the eastern part of the country. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "It's Not Too Early to Start Thinking About the July 2019 Solar Eclipse," 7 Jan. 2019 Simply put, capitalism is a social and economic system where a country's means of production, trade, and industry is controlled by private companies and owners, as opposed to the state. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What is Capitalism?," 7 Jan. 2019 Glamour: What country gives you the most beauty inspiration? Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Amber Heard Is Really Sick of the Dumb Blonde Cliché," 6 Jan. 2019 For example, in 2016, RSV season started around mid-September to mid-November in various parts of the country, peaked anywhere from late December to mid-February 2017, and tapered off around mid-April to mid-May, according to CDC data. Korin Miller, SELF, "Respiratory Syncytial Virus Is the Flu-Like Illness You Haven't Heard About," 3 Jan. 2019 The Norman Rockwell Museum is close by in Stockbridge, as is the Berkshire Botanical Garden, one of the country’s first. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "8 Romantic Winter Weekend Getaways From New York City," 29 Dec. 2018 What’s not rare are lockdowns, which have become a hallmark of American education and a byproduct of this country’s inability to curb its gun violence epidemic. John Woodrow Cox, The Seattle Times, "Numerous school lockdowns are traumatizing the nation’s children," 26 Dec. 2018

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

13 Jan 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 country : 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 \
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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