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 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 were established leaders in their states and communities who quite remarkably embraced the concept of breaking ties with a mother country of whom many considered themselves loyal subjects. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "The new trustbusters," 3 July 2018 Williams journeyed back to the mother country in the 1640s to obtain a royal charter and found England embroiled in a civil war, amid fierce debates on religion and legislative autonomy that were to parallel those in America. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘God, War, and Providence’ Review: When Conquest Was Puritanical," 13 June 2018 The Texas Revolution, like the American Revolution before it, was touched off when troops from the mother country were sent to repossess arms given to a militia for defense against Indians. Steve Russell, Newsweek, "America and Guns: To Understand That Deadly Obsession, Come to Texas," 7 Dec. 2017 Her piercing satires of British authorities, published in Boston newspapers starting in 1772, had prepared colonists for the final break with the mother country. Erick Trickey, Smithsonian, "The Woman Whose Words Inflamed the American Revolution," 20 June 2017 Internal political squabbles in both places could be as intense as those with the mother countries. The Christian Science Monitor, "Lessons in identity from Kurds and Catalans," 20 Sep. 2017

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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The first known use of mother country was in 1567

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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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