- any tract of land; region or district.
- the land and waters belonging to or under the jurisdiction of a state, sovereign, etc.
- any separate tract of land belonging to a state.
- (often initial capital letter) Government.
- a region or district of the U.S. not admitted to the Union as a state but having its own legislature, with a governor and other officers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
- some similar district elsewhere, as in Canada and Australia.
- a field or sphere of action, thought, etc.; domain or province of something.
- the region or district assigned to a representative, agent, or the like, as for making sales.
- the area that an animal defends against intruders, especially of the same species.
Origin of territory
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for territory
Assad-affiliated Christian militias skirt around the territory of rival groups aligned with the YPG.In One Corner of Syria, Christmas Spirit Somehow Manages to Survive
December 25, 2014
At first fighters were taken to Somalia; now Al-Shabab has brought the war to Kenyan territory.Al-Shabab’s Anti-Christian Slaughter
December 3, 2014
This would seem reasonable, since in that direction lay the only territory open enough for swift attack by armor.Blood in the Sand: When James Jones Wrote a Grunt’s View of D-Day
November 15, 2014
Al Qaeda and its Iraqi offspring ISIS compete for recruits and territory.Why’s Al Qaeda So Strong? Washington Has (Literally) No idea
November 9, 2014
But ISIS continues to hold major swaths of territory in and around Kobani, despite widespread media reports to the contrary.ISIS Video: America’s Air Dropped Weapons Now in Our Hands
October 21, 2014
Within their own territory each one could act independently.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
A territory bounded by the Mississippi has been extended from sea to sea.
We have sought no territory and we have imposed our will on none.
The Empress-Regent has quitted French territory, and since then has given no sign.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
Every advance step they made was upon the enemy's territory.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
- any tract of land; district
- the geographical domain under the jurisdiction of a political unit, esp of a sovereign state
- the district for which an agent, etc, is responsiblea salesman's territory
- an area inhabited and defended by an individual animal or a breeding group of animals
- an area of knowledgescience isn't my territory
- (in football, hockey, etc) the area defended by a team
- (often capital) a region of a country, esp of a federal state, that enjoys less autonomy and a lower status than most constituent parts of the state
- (often capital) a protectorate or other dependency of a country
- the Territory Australian See Northern Territory
Word Origin and History for territory
early 15c., "land under the jurisdiction of a town, state, etc.," probably from Latin territorium "land around a town, domain, district," from terra "earth, land" (see terrain) + -orium, suffix denoting place (see -ory).
An alternative theory, somewhat supported by the vowels of the original Latin word, suggests derivation from terrere "to frighten" (see terrible); thus territorium would mean "a place from which people are warned off." Sense of "any tract of land, district, region" is first attested c.1600. Specific U.S. sense of "organized self-governing region not yet a state" is from 1799.
- A geographic area occupied by a single animal, mating pair, or group. Animals usually defend their territory vigorously against intruders, especially of the same species, but the defense often takes the form of prominent, threatening displays rather than out-and-out fighting. Different animals mark off territory in different ways, as by leaving traces of their scent along the boundaries or, in the case of birds, modifying their calls to keep out intruders.