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

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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 In turn, tribal citizens were granted the right to fish, hunt and gather in that territory, which includes the waters of the Great Lakes and the Straits of Mackinac, said Whitney Gravelle, chairwoman of the Bay Mills Indian Community. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 11 July 2021 The Taliban has been rapidly retaking territory across northern Afghanistan, including areas along the 500-mile border with Tajikistan. Washington Post, 5 July 2021 This is brand new territory for the NCAA, for the schools, for the athletes. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, 1 July 2021 But neither Ibsen’s Joan nor Icke’s Thomas is able to stop at advancing a lifesaving crusade; both extend their arguments into weird, troubling territory. New York Times, 1 July 2021 That’s legitimate camp territory, and the movie tries to make fun of itself, there and elsewhere, by signaling self-awareness. K. Austin Collins, Rolling Stone, 25 June 2021 The sitcom is Kevin’s territory, where his treatment of Allison is presented as awful, but hilarious; the drama belongs to Allison. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2021 The team suggests that snakebites were more common during cold spells because of a lack of prey, and thus more likely to wander into new territory, places such as human homes. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, 7 June 2021 The campaign has become a stark illustration of crime organizations’ quest to expand their control of Mexico’s territory, a rising threat to this young democracy. Author: Mary Beth Sheridan, Anchorage Daily News, 3 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for territory

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for territory

Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Territory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territory. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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 territory (audio) \ adjective
territorially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on territory

Nglish: Translation of territory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of territory for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about territory

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