territory

noun
ter·​ri·​to·​ry | \ ˈter-ə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce territory (audio) \
plural territories

Definition of territory

1a : a geographic area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a governmental authority
b : an administrative subdivision of a country
c : a part of the U.S. not included within any state but organized with a separate legislature
d : a geographic area (such as a colonial possession) dependent on an external government but having some degree of autonomy
2a : an indeterminate geographic area
b : a field of knowledge or interest
3a : an assigned area especially : one in which a sales representative or distributor operates
b : an area often including a nesting or denning site and a variable foraging range that is occupied and defended by an animal or group of animals
go with the territory or come with the territory
: to be a natural or unavoidable aspect or accompaniment of a particular situation, position, or field criticism goes with the territory in this job

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Synonyms for territory

Synonyms

habitat, home, niche, range

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Examples of territory in a Sentence

Those mountains are in Mexican territory. Guam is a U.S. territory. The birds are busy establishing territories and building nests. Male cats spray to mark territory. The goal of the expedition is to map unexplored territory.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For entrepreneurs, dealing with a work crisis on vacation comes with the territory. Barbara Haislip, WSJ, "What Happens When Entrepreneurs Go On Vacation—and a Crisis Hits," 28 Apr. 2019 The majority of Arizona is on permanent standard time, and year-round DST is followed by Hawaii and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Minor Outlying Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "California moves toward permanent daylight saving time," 7 Nov. 2018 At launch, Waymo will only offer service in one part of the Phoenix metropolitan area but will expand the service territory over time. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s excruciatingly gradual launch process, explained," 31 Oct. 2018 Earlier Wednesday, the IDF said shots were fired from Gaza at civilians working on the barrier that separates the territory and Israel, damaging a vehicle. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Israeli jets strike Gaza terror targets after Hamas launches dozens of rockets," 2 Oct. 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool Providing style inspo literally comes with the territory of being a fashion icon. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Princess Beatrice Definitely Wore the Same Skirt This Week," 22 Sep. 2018 Puerto Ricans have complained that the U.S. government responded slowly after the storm battered the American territory. Washington Post, "In Senate race, Florida governor in balancing act with Trump," 13 July 2018 When Hurricane Maria devastated the United States territory of Puerto Rico, causing untold amounts of damage and ultimately killing nearly 3,000, President Donald Trump offered paper towels. Dennis Tang, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Offer to Help Notre-Dame Rebuild Doesn't Match His Response to Puerto Rico's Disaster," 19 Apr. 2019 To expect a return of this territory after such a belligerent action is simply fanciful thinking. WSJ, "Golan and Crimea Annexations Are Different," 8 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'territory.' 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 territory

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

History and Etymology for territory

Middle English, from Latin territorium, literally, land around a town, from terra land — more at terrace entry 1

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Statistics for territory

Last Updated

8 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for territory

The first known use of territory was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for territory

territory

noun

English Language Learners Definition of territory

: an area of land that belongs to or is controlled by a government
: one of the parts of the United States that is not a state
: any one of the large parts that some countries are divided into

territory

noun
ter·​ri·​to·​ry | \ ˈter-ə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce territory (audio) \
plural territories

Kids Definition of territory

1 : a geographical area belonging to or under the rule of a government
2 : a part of the United States not included within any state but organized with a separate governing body
4 : an area that is occupied and defended by an animal or group of animals

territory

noun
ter·​ri·​to·​ry | \ ˈter-ə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce territory (audio) \
plural territories

Legal Definition of territory

1 : a geographical area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a governmental authority
2 : a political subdivision of a country
3 : a part of the U.S. (as Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands) not included within any state but organized with a separate legislature — compare trust territory

Other Words from territory

territorial \ ˌter-​ə-​ˈtōr-​ē-​əl How to pronounce territorial (audio) \ adjective
territorially adverb

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Comments on territory

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