[ in-ter-nash-uh-nl, -nash-nl ]
See synonyms for international on
  1. between or among nations; involving two or more nations: international trade.

  2. of or relating to two or more nations or their citizens: a matter of international concern.

  1. pertaining to the relations between nations: international law.

  2. having members or activities in several nations: an international organization.

  3. transcending national boundaries or viewpoints: an international benefit;an international reputation.

  1. (initial capital letter) any of several international socialist or communist organizations formed in the 19th and 20th centuries.: Compare First International, Second International, Third International, Fourth International, Labor and Socialist International.

  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) a labor union having locals in two or more countries.

  1. an organization, enterprise, or group, especially a major business concern, having branches, dealings, or members in several countries.

  2. an employee, especially an executive, assigned to work in a foreign country or countries by a business or organization that has branches or dealings in several countries.

Origin of international

First recorded in 1770–80; inter- + national

Other words for international

Other words from international

  • in·ter·na·tion·al·i·ty [in-ter-nash-uh-nal-i-tee], /ˌɪn tər næʃ əˈnæl ɪ ti/, noun
  • in·ter·na·tion·al·ly, adverb
  • non·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjective
  • pseu·do·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjective
  • qua·si-in·ter·na·tion·al, adjective
  • un·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjective

Words Nearby international Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use international in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for international (1 of 2)


/ (ˌɪntəˈnæʃənəl) /

  1. of, concerning, or involving two or more nations or nationalities

  2. established by, controlling, or legislating for several nations: an international court; international fishing rights

  1. available for use by all nations: international waters

  1. sport

    • a contest between two national teams

    • a member of these teams

Derived forms of international

  • internationality, noun
  • internationally, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for International (2 of 2)


/ (ˌɪntəˈnæʃənəl) /

  1. a member of any of these organizations

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for International


An international organization of workers founded by Karl Marx (see also Marx) in the 1860s. Weakened by disputes, it was dissolved in 1876, but it was succeeded by three later Internationals, which sought to spread communism throughout the world. The most effective of these was the Third International, formed by the Soviet Union in 1919 and dissolved in 1943 by Joseph Stalin.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.