[ ney-shuhn-steyt ]

  1. a sovereign state inhabited by a relatively homogeneous group of people who share a feeling of common nationality.

Origin of nation-state

First recorded in 1915–20

Words Nearby nation-state Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nation-state in a sentence

  • Since old China was rarely confronted with international problems, the Chinese were not aware of their realm as a nation-state.

    Government in Republican China | Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • It is the same sense of community held, at a different scale and with different goals, by the nation-state.

  • Together with the nation-state, the modern notion of nationality was defined and became a major force of political life.

  • Indeed, the predicament of the nation-state is such that going back may be the only benign way of going forward.

    After the Rain | Sam Vaknin
  • The first, that the nation state is far too simple a solution of modern difficulties.

British Dictionary definitions for nation-state


  1. an independent state inhabited by all the people of one nation and one nation only

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