ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌter-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce territorial (audio) \

Definition of territorial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a territory territorial government
b : of or relating to or organized chiefly for home defense
c : of or relating to private property
2a : exhibiting or involving territoriality territorial birds
b : of or relating to an assigned or preempted area territorial commanders
3a : nearby, local
b : serving outlying areas : regional



Definition of territorial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of a territorial military unit

Other Words from territorial


territorially \ ˌter-​ə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce territorial (audio) \ adverb

Examples of territorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Armenia’s Security Council has called on Russia to help protect the country’s territorial integrity as people fear overtures by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 19 Nov. 2021 Secretary of State Blinken maintained Wednesday that commitment to Ukrainian territorial integrity is ‘ironclad,’ while other U.S. senior officials warned Russia against using energy exports as a political weapon. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 To address the rising problem, Garland said the FBI would work with U.S. attorneys and federal, state, local, territorial and tribal authorities in each district to develop strategies against the threats. Gary Fields, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2021 Contact health care providers, or visit state, tribal, local and territorial health departments’ websites to find the latest information on testing in their area. Dwight Brown, Essence, 20 July 2021 More than 26,000 state, tribal, local and territorial public health workers responded. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 The package provides an additional $350 billion for state, local and territorial governments – some of which could also be invested in schools. Michael Addonizio, The Conversation, 2 Apr. 2021 Lemurs are very social creatures, Marron said, and lemur calls can signal territorial claims, reproductive potential, warning signs and more. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2021 Taipei’s residual South China Sea territorial claims could be bargaining chips for closer relations with other partners, especially littoral states like Vietnam, the Philippines and Singapore. John Bolton, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun TERRITORIAL Most nations aim to impose taxes on economic activity that takes place within their borders. N. Gregory Mankiw, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2017

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

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First Known Use of territorial


1625, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


1907, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for territorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of territorial was in 1625

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Dictionary Entries Near territorial



territorial court

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Statistics for territorial

Last Updated

21 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Territorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territorial. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for territorial



English Language Learners Definition of territorial

: of or relating to land or water that is owned or controlled by a government
used to describe animals or people that try to keep others away from an area that they use or control


ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌter-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce territorial (audio) \

Kids Definition of territorial

1 : of or relating to a territory a territorial government
2 : displaying behavior associated with defending an animal's territory My dog is very territorial.

More from Merriam-Webster on territorial

Nglish: Translation of territorial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of territorial for Arabic Speakers


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