national

1 of 2

adjective

na·​tion·​al ˈna-sh(ə-)nəl How to pronounce national (audio)
1
: of or relating to a nation
national boundaries
the national flag
2
3
: comprising or characteristic of a nationality
his national accent was plainly audible Elinor Wylie
4
: belonging to or maintained by the federal government
the National Museum of American History
5
: of, relating to, or being a coalition (see coalition sense 2) government formed by most or all major political parties usually in a crisis
nationally adverb

national

2 of 2

noun

1
: one that owes allegiance to or is under the protection of a nation without regard to the more formal status of citizen or subject
2
: a competition that is national in scope
usually used in plural

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Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for national

citizen, subject, national mean a person owing allegiance to and entitled to the protection of a sovereign state.

citizen is preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people.

the rights of a free citizen

subject implies allegiance to a personal sovereign such as a monarch.

the king's subjects

national designates one who may claim the protection of a state and applies especially to one living or traveling outside that state.

American nationals working in the Middle East

Example Sentences

Adjective She won the national championship last year. His test scores were higher than the national average. Doing well in the Olympics is a matter of national pride. Baseball is called America's national pastime. The game was shown on national television. Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. the National Museum of Art Noun She's a Mexican national now working in the United States. The U.S. Nationals will be held in New York City this year. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Guests observe the national anthem during the state funeral for Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 27, 2022 in Tokyo. Arata Yamamoto, NBC News, 27 Sep. 2022 Isaac also wrote a book in the interim about his faith and his decision to stand for the national anthem in the bubble as a sign of peaceful protest. Tim Reynolds, ajc, 26 Sep. 2022 At the time, many artists voiced support for Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who protested police brutality against Black people and minorities by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. Jake Coyle, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2022 At the time, many artists voiced support for Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose 2016 national anthem protests sparked debate throughout football. CBS News, 25 Sep. 2022 At the time, many artists voiced support for Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose 2016 national anthem protests sparked debate throughout football. Time, 25 Sep. 2022 At the time, many artists voiced support for Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose 2016 national anthem protests sparked debate throughout football. Jake Coyle, Chicago Tribune, 25 Sep. 2022 So there will be Bills paraphernalia for sale, giveaways and live music from Buffalo native Tom Sartori, a singer who has performed the national anthem before Bills games more than a dozen times. Ben Crandell, Sun Sentinel, 23 Sep. 2022 Charles looked weary and emotional as mourners sang the national anthem. Danica Kirka, Chron, 19 Sep. 2022
Noun
More recently, a 23-year-old Brazilian national held at the Torrance County Detention Facility was found unresponsive by staff on Aug. 17 and died several days later at a hospital in Albuquerque. Morgan Lee, ajc, 29 Sep. 2022 In July, 2021, the F.B.I. arrested an Iranian national in California for plotting to kidnap Alinejad and take her to Venezuela, where she would have been transferred to Iran, presumably to face imprisonment or death. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, 24 Sep. 2022 Deborah Anderson, 30, a Nigerian national who was living in Cleveland, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent to pay $438,604.89 in restitution to her victims. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 22 Sep. 2022 An Ethiopian national who allegedly shot someone in Roxbury in 2014 and fled the country was arrested Tuesday in Chicago on a warrant charging him with the crime, authorities said Thursday. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Sep. 2022 Dzenan Camovic, a Bosnian national who was living in Brooklyn illegally, was inspired by terrorism, prosecutors said, adding he will be deported after completing his sentence. Rob Frehse, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 Johnnie Lee Berger, identified in court documents as an American national and family friend of Dawson’s, is out on bail himself. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 16 Sep. 2022 Elly Schlein, a 37-year-old U.S.-Italian national who grew up in Switzerland, cut her political organizing chops on two campaigns for former U.S. President Barack Obama. Colleen Barry, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Sep. 2022 He was convicted on one count of the murder of a U.S. national in a foreign country and one count of mail fraud, for cashing in more than $4.8 million in life insurance claims. Jennifer Terker, CBS News, 7 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of national was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near national

Cite this Entry

“National.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/national. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

national 1 of 2

adjective

na·​tion·​al ˈna-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce national (audio)
: of or relating to an entire country
a national anthem
the national news

national

2 of 2

noun

: a citizen of a particular country

More from Merriam-Webster on national

Last Updated: 30 Sep 2022

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