na·​tion·​al·​i·​ty ˌna-shə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce nationality (audio)
plural nationalities
: national character
the nationality of Ireland is in her songs and in her stories, and in her chronicles and in her traditionW. B. Yeats
: national status
specifically : a legal relationship involving allegiance on the part of an individual and usually protection on the part of the state
nationality bestowed by birth
: membership in a particular nation
Vietnamese nationality
: political independence or existence as a separate nation
: a people having a common origin, tradition, and language and capable of forming or actually constituting a nation-state
The diverse nationalities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire desired independence.
: an ethnic group constituting one element of a larger unit (such as a nation)
The country is home to five nationalities.

Examples of nationality in a Sentence

The country is home to five nationalities and seven languages. people of all races and nationalities She's American, but her parents are of Japanese nationality. He has held French nationality for the past 20 years. The university has students of over 50 nationalities.
Recent Examples on the Web The passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 — which was influenced by the civil rights movement and aimed to abolish the immigrant quota system based on nationality, race and ancestry — prompted an increase in immigration from Asian, African and Latin American countries. Jazmine Ulloa, New York Times, 3 June 2024 It's not known the specific nationalities of those who were injured. Kevin Shalvey, ABC News, 21 May 2024 The influx of Chinese migrants and migrants of many other nationalities complicates the job of the Border Patrol, says agent Angel Moreno, who works in communications in the San Diego Sector. Melanie Stetson Freeman, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 May 2024 The decision Monday by two judges on Britain's High Court of Justice clears the way for a full appeal hearing of that extradition, in which Assange's lawyers can argue that his First Amendment rights under the U.S. constitution may be limited by his nationality. Willem Marx, NPR, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for nationality 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nationality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of nationality was in 1691

Dictionary Entries Near nationality

Cite this Entry

“Nationality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


na·​tion·​al·​i·​ty ˌnash-(ə-)ˈnal-ət-ē How to pronounce nationality (audio)
plural nationalities
: the fact or state of belonging to a nation
a person of French nationality
: political independence as a nation
: a people having a common beginning, tradition, or language

More from Merriam-Webster on nationality

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