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  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.
  3. pertaining to the relations between nations: international law.
  4. having members or activities in several nations: an international organization.
  5. transcending national boundaries or viewpoints: an international benefit; an international reputation.
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  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.
  3. an organization, enterprise, or group, especially a major business concern, having branches, dealings, or members in several countries.
  4. 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.
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Origin of international

First recorded in 1770–80; inter- + national
Related formsin·ter·na·tion·al·i·ty, nounin·ter·na·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjectivenon·in·ter·na·tion·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjectivequa·si-in·ter·na·tion·al, adjectivequa·si-in·ter·na·tion·al·ly, adverbun·in·ter·na·tion·al, adjective

Synonyms for international

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for internationally

universally, cooperatively, interculturally

Examples from the Web for internationally

Contemporary Examples of internationally

Historical Examples of internationally

  • But he was known throughout the boundaries of the State, if not internationally.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • You have signed and ratified a treaty; you are internationally bound by that treaty.

  • In the leading cities of these countries he made addresses that were statesmanlike and internationally tactful.

  • An international and internationally administered code for the whole of Labour Protection is strictly to be avoided.

    The Theory and Policy of Labour Protection

    Albert Eberhard Friedrich Schffle

  • Meanwhile, the Empire was still the internationally recognized government of China and continued to function in Peking.

    Government in Republican China

    Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger

British Dictionary definitions for internationally


  1. of, concerning, or involving two or more nations or nationalities
  2. established by, controlling, or legislating for several nationsan international court; international fishing rights
  3. available for use by all nationsinternational waters
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  1. sport
    1. a contest between two national teams
    2. a member of these teams
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Derived Formsinternationality, nouninternationally, adverb


  1. any of several international socialist organizationsSee Comintern, First International, Labour and Socialist International, Second International, Socialist International, Trotskyist International, Vienna Union
  2. a member of any of these organizations
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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

Word Origin and History for internationally



1780, apparently coined by Jeremy Bentham from inter- + national. In communist jargon, as a noun and with a capital -i-, it is short for International Working Men's Association, the first of which was founded in London by Marx in 1864. "The Internationale" (from fem. of French international), the socialist hymn, was written 1871 by Eugène Pottier. International Date Line is from 1910. Related: Internationally.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

internationally in Culture


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.

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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.