territorial

1 of 2

adjective

ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al ˌter-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce territorial (audio)
1
a
: 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
2
a
: exhibiting or involving territoriality
territorial birds
b
: of or relating to an assigned or preempted area
territorial commanders
3
a
b
: serving outlying areas : regional
territorially adverb

territorial

2 of 2

noun

: a member of a territorial military unit

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The challenge of sustaining the military effort isn’t unique to Russia, which after making significant territorial gains early in the war has been yielding territory back to Ukraine in phases. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 In an angry and fiery speech last week, Mr. Putin raised the specter of using nuclear weapons to hold on to his territorial gains, which Ukraine’s powerful counteroffensives have begun to erode. Carlotta Gall Anton Troianovski David E. Sanger Carly Olson Carly Olson Christina Anderson Valeriya Safronova Matthew Mpoke Bigg Matthew Mpoke Bigg Valeriya Safronova Maria Varenikova Jonathan Abrams Matina Stevis-gridneff William J. Broad Nailah Morgan, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2022 Oklahoma was not even yet a state, and Guthrie was the territorial capital. James Freeman, WSJ, 18 Nov. 2022 Such incidents have been rare since the territorial defeat of the Islamic State group in Iraq in 2017, according to The Associated Press. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 8 Nov. 2022 The struggle was for survival more than for territorial expansion. David Treuer, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2022 The pre-territorial law should be enforceable only against non-physicians, the lawsuit says. Bob Christie, ajc, 4 Oct. 2022 After the overturning this summer, the state's current attorney general, Mark Brnovich, sought to reinstate that territorial-era ban, which a Pima County judge did in September. Kyla Guilfoil, ABC News, 7 Nov. 2022 Banishment has long been a way for Alaska’s indigenous communities to enforce rules and mores, a practice pre-dating contact and territorial laws. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Nov. 2022
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 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Noun

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of territorial was in 1625

Dictionary Entries Near territorial

Cite this Entry

“Territorial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territorial. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

territorial

adjective
ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al
ˌter-ə-ˈtōr-ē-əl,
-ˈtȯr-
1
: of or relating to a territory
territorial claims
2
: organized chiefly for territorial defense
a territorial army
3
: showing or involving territoriality
territorial birds
territorial noun
territorially
-ē-ə-lē
adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on territorial

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