mother country


Definition of mother country

1 : the country of one's parents or ancestors also : fatherland
2 : the country from which the people of a colony or former colony derive their origin
3 : a country that is the origin of something

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Synonyms for mother country


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Examples of mother country in a Sentence

Greece can boast to being the mother country of democracy. even after decades of living in their adopted nation, they maintained a strong attachment to the mother country
Recent Examples on the Web Born in South Korea, Yoo, 31, has always loved noodles, starting with kalguksu and jajangmyeon, two popular bowls back in the mother country. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "Menya Hosaki serves bowls of ramen and moments of peace," 27 Oct. 2020 These are especially attractive if the mother country belongs to the EU, since EU citizenship includes the right to work anywhere in the union. The Economist, "Balking at Balkan babies The Balkans are getting short of people," 22 Aug. 2020 Traditions have been replaced by Zoom calls with my family and friends across the US, Dubai and my mother country, Egypt. Mirna Alsharif, CNN, "Observing Ramadan alone during the pandemic taught me to be grateful for what I have while I still have it," 18 May 2020 Protracted economic separation from the mother country drove the colonies to rebel against Spain and enter the trading orbit of Britain. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "The Real History of Cinco de Mayo," 5 May 2020 Later, to control immigration, the government in London limited colonial and Commonwealth subjects’ rights to live and work in the mother country. The Economist, "Out of sight, out of mind Hong Kongers with UK passports demand the right to live in Britain," 12 Dec. 2019 Ghosn’s decision to flee to Lebanon underlines the apparent strength of the diaspora’s bonds to the mother country. Rashmee Roshan Lall, Quartz, "Why did Carlos Ghosn flee to Lebanon?," 31 Dec. 2019 England was particularly envious of the lucrative system developed by Spain for returning gold and silver to the mother country after the Spanish plundered the Aztec and Incan empires in 1521 and 1532. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘Black Flags, Blue Waters’ Review: To Live and Die a Pirate King," 26 Sep. 2018 Even after independence, neither the former mother country nor Napoleonic France respected American maritime rights. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘Jefferson’s Treasure’ Review: Penny-Pincher in Chief," 19 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mother 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 mother country

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for mother country

Time Traveler

The first known use of mother country was in 1567

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Cite this Entry

“Mother country.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mother country

mother country


English Language Learners Definition of mother country

: the country where people who live in a colony or former colony came from
: the country where you were born or where your family came from

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