na·​tion | \ ˈnā-shən How to pronounce nation (audio) \

Definition of nation

1a(1) : nationality sense 5a three Slav peoples … forged into a Yugoslavia without really fusing into a Yugoslav nation— Hans Kohn
(2) : a politically organized nationality
(3) in the Bible : a non-Jewish nationality why do the nations conspire — Psalms 2:1 (Revised Standard Version)
b : a community of people composed of one or more nationalities and possessing a more or less defined territory and government Canada is a nation with a written constitution— B. K. Sandwell
c : a territorial division containing a body of people of one or more nationalities and usually characterized by relatively large size and independent status a nation of vast size with a small population— Mary K. Hammond
2 archaic : group, aggregation
3 : a tribe or federation of tribes (as of American Indians) the Seminole Nation in Oklahoma

Examples of nation in a Sentence

It's one of the richest nations in the world. the largest state in the nation The President will speak to the nation tonight. The entire nation is celebrating the victory.
Recent Examples on the Web As of this month, more than one million Americans have died from the virus, which has become the third leading cause of death in the nation. Madison Feller, ELLE, 21 May 2022 Before traveling to New Zealand with Prince Harry on an official royal tour, Meghan Markle spent two weeks in the nation in a campervan. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 21 May 2022 With 95% of eligible voters actually registered, Georgia currently boasts the highest registration rate in the nation, and voting groups take some of the credit for that. Matthew Brown,, 21 May 2022 But with $40 billion in unfunded obligations amassed over seven decades, Connecticut’s per capita pension debt is among the highest in the nation. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 21 May 2022 There is likely to be a shortage of workers in the nation’s senior housing and aging services industry. Joseph Coughlin, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Some of the best players in the nation, so that don’t qualify me? Mike Rodak |, al, 20 May 2022 The single largest purchaser of infant formula in the nation, WIC helps provide it to low-income families. Lautaro Grinspan, ajc, 20 May 2022 Poole idolized the city star, who was the top recruit in the nation. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of nation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for nation

Middle English nacioun, from Anglo-French naciun, from Latin nation-, natio birth, race, nation, from nasci to be born; akin to Latin gignere to beget — more at kin

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The first known use of nation was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Nation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for nation


na·​tion | \ ˈnā-shən How to pronounce nation (audio) \

Kids Definition of nation

1 : country sense 1 China is a nation I'd like to visit.
2 : a community of people made up of one or more nationalities usually with its own territory and government … here is a race that the whole nation is clamoring for …— Walter Farley, The Black Stallion

Nation biographical name

Na·​tion | \ ˈnā-shən How to pronounce Nation (audio) \

Definition of Nation

Car*ry \ ˈker-​ē How to pronounce Nation (audio) , ˈka-​rē \ Amelia 1846–1911 née Moore American temperance agitator

More from Merriam-Webster on nation

Nglish: Translation of nation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nation for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nation


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