• synonyms


[nash-uh-nl, nash-nuh l]
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  1. of, relating to, or maintained by a nation as an organized whole or independent political unit: national affairs.
  2. owned, preserved, or maintained by the federal government: a national wildlife refuge.
  3. peculiar or common to the whole people of a country: national customs.
  4. devoted to one's own nation, its interests, etc.; patriotic: to stir up national pride.
  5. nationalist.
  6. concerning or encompassing an entire nation: a national radio network.
  7. limited to one nation.
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  1. a citizen or subject of a particular nation who is entitled to its protection: U.S. nationals living abroad.
  2. Often nationals. a national competition, tournament, or the like: We're invited to Minneapolis for the nationals.
  3. a national company or organization.
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Origin of national

First recorded in 1590–1600; nation + -al1
Related formsna·tion·al·ly, adverban·ti·na·tion·al, adjectivean·ti·na·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·na·tion·al, adjective, nounnon·na·tion·al·ly, adverbpre·na·tion·al, adjectivepro·na·tion·al, adjectivepseu·do·na·tion·al, adjectivepseu·do·na·tion·al·ly, adverbqua·si-na·tion·al, adjectivequa·si-na·tion·al·ly, adverbsub·na·tion·al, adjectiveun·na·tion·al, adjectiveun·na·tion·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedfederal national
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for national

communal, civil, ethnic, domestic, governmental, internal, social, public, nationwide, interstate, royal, sovereign, general, state, vernacular, sweeping, home, imperial, native, federal

Examples from the Web for national

Contemporary Examples of national

Historical Examples of national

British Dictionary definitions for national


  1. of, involving, or relating to a nation as a whole
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of a particular nationthe national dress of Poland
  3. rare nationalistic or patriotic
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  1. a citizen or subject
  2. a national newspaper
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Derived Formsnationally, adverb


  1. the National short for the Grand National
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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 national


1590s, from Middle French national (from Old French nation), and also from nation + -al (1). As a noun, "citizen of a (particular) nation," from 1887. National anthem first recorded 1819, in Shelley. Related: Nationally.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper