Definition of territory
1a : a geographic area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a governmental authorityb : an administrative subdivision of a countryc : a part of the U.S. not included within any state but organized with a separate legislatured : a geographic area (such as a colonial possession) dependent on an external government but having some degree of autonomy
2a : an indeterminate geographic areab : a field of knowledge or interest
3a : an assigned area; especially : one in which a sales representative or distributor operatesb : 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 territoryor
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>
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.
Origin and Etymology of territory
Middle English, from Latin territorium, literally, land around a town, from terra land — more at terrace
First Known Use: 14th century
TERRITORY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of territory for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of territory for Students
Word Root of territory
The Latin word terra, meaning “earth,” “land,” or “ground,” gives us the root terr. Words from the Latin terra have something to do with the earth or land. A territory is an area of land ruled by a particular government. A terrace is a piece of land with a flat top. Anything terrestrial lives on land and not in water.
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
territorial\ˌter-ə-ˈtōr-ē-əl\ play adjective
Learn More about territory
See words that rhyme with territory Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for territory Spanish Central: Translation of 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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