na·​tion ˈnā-shən How to pronounce nation (audio)
: nationality sense 5a
three Slav peoples … forged into a Yugoslavia without really fusing into a Yugoslav nationHans Kohn
: a politically organized nationality
in the Bible : a non-Jewish nationality
why do the nations conspirePsalms 2:1 (Revised Standard Version)
: 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 constitutionB. K. Sandwell
: 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 populationMary K. Hammond
archaic : group, aggregation
: 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 It’s expected to slam into Jamaica on Wednesday, prompting the island nation to activate disaster response measures Tuesday. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 2 July 2024 Overall, the idea of a candidate who isn’t threatening huge trade tariffs on China, and had displayed a positive attitude toward Beijing, was appealing to many in the Asian nation. Jason Ma, Fortune Asia, 2 July 2024 Among the affected nations are Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada. Armani Syed, TIME, 2 July 2024 In the backdrop to the festival, leading English-language newspaper The Times of Malta continued to probe whether the event’s budget of $4.1M budget (€3.9) was good use of taxpayers’ money on the island nation, with a population of roughly 500,000 people. Melanie Goodfellow, Deadline, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for nation 

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near nation

Cite this Entry

“Nation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


na·​tion ˈnā-shən How to pronounce nation (audio)
: a community of people composed of one or more nationalities usually with its own territory and government
: the territory of a nation

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Na·​tion ˈnā-shən How to pronounce Nation (audio)
Car*ry ˈker-ē How to pronounce Nation (audio)
Amelia 1846–1911 née Moore American temperance agitator

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