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



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


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for country

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Catholic Extension received over 3,000 photos of Flat Francis from around the country. Carol Flynn,, "A Chicago artist whose work has been shown in White House, Vatican, has spent part of pandemic creating free coloring sheets to do while sheltering at home," 12 Apr. 2021 Bills denying such care have been condemned by major medical groups around the country, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, "'Children will die': Transgender advocates warn about risks as more states consider banning gender-affirming care for kids," 12 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, dozens of post-COVID clinics have sprung up around the country., "Fatigue, headaches, and worse: For some, neurologic symptoms are lingering after COVID," 12 Apr. 2021 The Huntington Beach white lives rally was one of dozens in cities around the country that reportedly drew far fewer people than expected. al, "California ‘White Lives Matter’ marchers find themselves outnumbered," 12 Apr. 2021 Tips from around the country were followed up on, and the FBI has been asked to assist in analyzing some of the evidence recovered in the investigation. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Three months later, investigation and searches continue in disappearance of Chula Vista mom," 11 Apr. 2021 In courtrooms around the country, Clark defended antiwar activists. CBS News, "Ramsey Clark, former attorney general, has died at age 93," 11 Apr. 2021 Dozens of vehicles line the dirt path carrying members of Congress from around the country. Alex Hogan, Fox News, "Stories from the border: A midnight ride-along with Border Agents," 11 Apr. 2021 Towns, cities and states around the country already have designs on the funds. New York Times, "Biden’s Infrastructure Push Spurs a Flurry of Lobbying in Congress," 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Come winter, activities include ice skating, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking, just to name a few. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, "10 U.S. Resorts Perfect for Your Next Family Reunion," 30 Mar. 2021 But people embrace it by cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. John D. Sutter, CNN, "California wildfires. Hurricanes on the coast. Is anywhere safe from the climate crisis?," 12 Apr. 2021 Beyond downhill skiing at Big Sky Resort, other adventures to try include: sleigh rides, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snow coach tours, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, "Top Things To Do In Big Sky, Montana Right Now," 10 Apr. 2021 Outside there’s a 5,500-square-foot deck and miles of manicured trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter and hiking, running and mountain biking in summer. Janice O'leary, Robb Report, "Jerry Seinfeld Lists Both of His Colorado Mountain Retreats for $18 Million," 31 Mar. 2021 Hecox planned to join the university cross-country team in September 2020. NBC News, "Youth activists lead the fight against anti-trans bills," 25 Mar. 2021 The Patriots’ new receiver is back in Southern California after completing a cross-country flight to sign his new contract and pick up his contract in Foxborough last week., "Patriots receiver Kendrick Bourne is already gameplanning with his new quarterbacks," 22 Mar. 2021 At Tettegouche State Park in Silver Bay, Tettegouche Camp is a cluster of four rustic hike-in cabins nestled on a lake more than 3 miles by foot (or mountain bike or cross-country skis) from the main park trailhead. Star Tribune, "You’ve probably been to a Minnesota state park, but that doesn’t mean you know the state park system. It’s amazing.," 21 Mar. 2021 What are the different styles of cross-country skis? Outdoor Life, "Best Cross Country Skis: The Best Skis for Any Snow Situation," 25 Feb. 2021

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


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


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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Time Traveler for country

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for country

Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Country.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for country



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.



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

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


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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Comments on country

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