na·​tion·​al | \ ˈnash-nəl How to pronounce national (audio) , ˈna-shə-nᵊl \

Definition of national

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a nation national boundaries the national flag
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



Definition of national (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from national


nationally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for national

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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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

Examples of national in a Sentence

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 The maize and gold of the Midland Redskins 18U national baseball team dogpiled yet again at Ricketts Park in Farmington, New Mexico Friday night, winning their 17th Connie Mack World Series title. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 30 July 2022 The partners of England’s men’s national team have long enjoyed something approaching equal billing, serving as a celebrity cheering section. James Hookway, WSJ, 29 July 2022 Scotland’s national team was collectively named as the recipient of the Lazard Sportsmanship Award. Gary Curreri, Sun Sentinel, 29 July 2022 Center Liz Cambage, coming off an unceremonious split with the Australian national team before the Tokyo Olympics and moving to her fourth WNBA team, was credited with pitching the slogan to the marketing team and her teammates. Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2022 Altidore has scored 198 goals in club and national team games and totaled 78 goals in 193 MLS matches. Frank Dell'apa,, 28 July 2022 On Monday, the soccer icon, 47, shared a video cheering on England's women's national soccer team, the Lionesses, ahead of their UEFA Euro 2022 semifinal match against Sweden. Angela Andaloro,, 27 July 2022 Solo played on the U.S. national team from 2000 to 2016, sharing in a World Cup victory in 2015 and winning Olympic gold in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 26 July 2022 Solo, a former goalkeeper for the U.S. women's national soccer team, pleaded guilty on Monday to driving while impaired four months after her arrest, according to The New York Times. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 26 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the documentary, Farah repeatedly expresses his anxiety about whether revealing the truth about his story will put him at risk of losing his status as a British national. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 15 July 2022 Authorities say Malik Faisal Akram, a British national, took the four people who were at Congregation Beth Israel last Saturday hostage. Peter Smith, ajc, 22 Jan. 2022 Authorities say that Malik Faisal Akram, 44, a British national, entered the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday and took Jewish worshippers hostage. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 22 Jan. 2022 The hostage-taker was identified by authorities as Malik Faisal Akram, a 44-year-old British national who arrived in the US via a flight to New York in late December, a US law enforcement source told CNN. Kelly Mccleary, Amir Vera, Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 On Sunday, the authorities identified the man as Malik Faisal Akram, a British national. New York Times, 16 Jan. 2022 On what is regularly observed as a day of rest and worship in Judaism, a man — since confirmed by authorities as a British national — took hostages during Saturday morning services at the synagogue. Alexa Ura, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Jan. 2022 Poland confirmed on Thursday that a Polish national has been detained in Iran after Iranian media reports claimed a number of foreigners had been taken into custody on suspicion of spying. Liz Sly, Washington Post, 7 July 2022 Chew’s letter also noted that the exec is a Singaporean national who resides in Singapore. Todd Spangler, Variety, 1 July 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.

First Known Use of national


1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for national

Time Traveler

The first known use of national was in 1580

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Dictionary Entries Near national



national anthem

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Statistics for national

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“National.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for national


na·​tion·​al | \ ˈna-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce national (audio) \

Kids Definition of national

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to an entire country a national anthem the national news

Other Words from national

nationally adverb



Kids Definition of national (Entry 2 of 2)

: a citizen of a particular country

More from Merriam-Webster on national

Nglish: Translation of national for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of national for Arabic Speakers


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