ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al·​i·​ty ˌter-ə-ˌtȯr-ē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce territoriality (audio)
: territorial status
: persistent attachment to a specific territory
: the pattern of behavior associated with the defense of a territory

Example Sentences

a scientific study of territoriality in bears
Recent Examples on the Web Those records were essential to end any territoriality dispute between Denmark and America. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2022 On the one hand, QBAI is what territoriality looks like — and the sales pitch for the TCJA did promise territorial results. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 On the other hand, nobody said territoriality would be free of guardrails. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 The formation was seen to deal with problems resulting from the lack of agreement on contract ownership, salaries, territoriality, and other issues. David Buie, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 24 Apr. 2021 Overall, however, the results of this study suggest that factors such as familiarity and territoriality may be playing a bigger role than spectator support, Memmert says. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 31 Mar. 2021 Their neurological capabilities were dominated by the brainstem (a.k.a. the reptilian brain), which was in charge of survival, territoriality, and reproduction. Luis E. Romero, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 Other, less privacy and territoriality-minded countries, have cabanas, which are essentially vast sunbeds of conviviality. Sarah Turner, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 While the basics of coyote hunting are simple—set up with visibility and minimize movement; keep the wind in your face or crossing; call in dogs by appealing to their stomach, territoriality, or libido—success hinges on the details. Toby Walrath, Outdoor Life, 25 Jan. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of territoriality was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near territoriality

Cite this Entry

“Territoriality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territoriality. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al·​i·​ty ˌter-ə-ˌtōr-ē-ˈal-ət-ē How to pronounce territoriality (audio)
: the pattern of behavior associated with the defense of an animal's territory

Legal Definition



ter·​ri·​to·​ri·​al·​i·​ty ˌter-ə-ˌtōr-ē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce territoriality (audio)
: territorial status
: the jurisdiction of a sovereign state over matters within the limits of its territory especially as exercisable apart from the minimum contacts standard for personal jurisdiction over nonresidents
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.