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

In 2018, a Thomson Reuters survey placed the United States as the 10th most dangerous place in the world for women, the only western country on that list. Tanya Selvaratnam, Glamour, "Why Candice Russell Had No Choice But Take Her Case to the Media," 2 Apr. 2019 By the time the country reluctantly assented to some foreign assistance, the disaster had started to slip from the news. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 Well, today a group of researchers released the first-ever World Happiness Report, which studied 13 years of data to determine the happiest countries in the world. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "These Are the World's 10 Happiest Countries," 21 Mar. 2019 New Zealand was a part of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first royal tour last fall, while Kate Middleton and Prince William last visited the country in 2014. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Made a Surprise Appearance to Honor New Zealand Survivors," 19 Mar. 2019 The designation, underscoring the warming relations between the two countries, would grant Brazil preferential treatment by the U.S., similar to that granted to North Atlantic Treaty Organization members. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Trump, Meeting With Bolsonaro, Backs Stronger Ties With Brazil," 19 Mar. 2019 The goal is to include sports that fit the host city’s vision for the Games as well as sports that are particularly popular in the host country. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "These Are the New Sports We May See at the 2024 Summer Olympics," 27 Feb. 2019 The agreement aims to create credit mechanisms, crowd funding and sharing of technology to promote solar energy in 121 countries associated with the treaty. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "Saudi crown prince backs India’s fight against terrorism," 20 Feb. 2019 The Old Farmer's Almanac just announced its 2019 spring forecast, and the predictions call for a cold, dry season for a majority of the country. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Old Farmer's Almanac Predicts a Cold, Rainless Spring for Most of the Country," 5 Mar. 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

7 Apr 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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