[ ney-shuhn ]
See synonyms for nation on
  1. a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax.

  2. the territory or country itself: the nations of Central America.

  1. a member tribe of an American Indian confederation.

  2. an aggregation of persons of the same ethnic family, often speaking the same language or cognate languages.

Origin of nation

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Latin nātiōn- (stem of nātiō ) “birth, tribe,” equivalent to nāt(us) (past participle of nāscī “to be born”) + -iōn- -ion

synonym study For nation

1. See race2.

Other words for nation

Other words from nation

  • na·tion·hood, noun
  • na·tion·less, adjective
  • in·ter·na·tion, adjective
  • min·i·na·tion, noun
  • su·per·na·tion, noun

Words Nearby nation

Other definitions for Nation (2 of 2)

[ ney-shuhn ]

  1. Carry or Carrie (Amelia Moore), 1846–1911, U.S. temperance leader. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use nation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nation


/ (ˈneɪʃən) /

  1. an aggregation of people or peoples of one or more cultures, races, etc, organized into a single state: the Australian nation

  2. a community of persons not constituting a state but bound by common descent, language, history, etc: the French-Canadian nation

    • a federation of tribes, esp American Indians

    • the territory occupied by such a federation

Origin of nation

C13: via Old French from Latin nātiō birth, tribe, from nascī to be born

Derived forms of nation

  • nationhood, noun
  • nationless, adjective

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