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

The fake worked perfectly, Ridder gained three yards and kept UC on track to score inside Ohio State territory. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "What we learned in Cincinnati Bearcats' loss at Ohio State," 8 Sep. 2019 Ibama is unable to effectively patrol a rainforest that covers 60 percent of Brazil’s territory. Washington Post, "Why Brazilian farmers are burning the rainforest — and why it’s difficult for Bolsonaro to stop them," 8 Sep. 2019 The storm left about 3,000 people dead and devastated the US territory. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Dorian may be moving away, but there are still two months left of peak hurricane season," 8 Sep. 2019 Putin said missiles in Asia would be close enough to threaten Russian territory. Fox News, "Putin again threatens to develop previously banned missiles if US does," 7 Sep. 2019 The Rams entered Austin territory on their next drive but the half ended with the teams tied at 14. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Elias Cruz's kick lifts Mayde Creek over Fort Bend Austin," 7 Sep. 2019 All in all, Michigan had five drives in Army territory that ended with zero points. Erick Smith, USA TODAY, "No. 7 Michigan survives upset bid from Army in overtime," 7 Sep. 2019 Worth noting: The umpires probably would have called the infield-fly rule if Stewart’s popup hadn’t appeared headed for foul territory. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "A’s roll to victory, but Laureano leaves with cramp in troublesome leg," 7 Sep. 2019 All five River Hill touchdowns started inside Atholton territory and two started inside the red zone. Tim Schwartz, baltimoresun.com, "River Hill football opens season with win over rival Atholton," 7 Sep. 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

11 Sep 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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