See more synonyms for nationality on
noun, plural na·tion·al·i·ties for 1, 2, 5, 6.
  1. the status of belonging to a particular nation, whether by birth or naturalization: the nationality of an immigrant.
  2. the relationship of property, holdings, etc., to a particular nation, or to one or more of its members: the nationality of a ship.
  3. nationalism.
  4. existence as a distinct nation; national independence: a small colony that has just achieved nationality.
  5. a nation or people: the nationalities of the Americas.
  6. a national quality or character: Nationalities tend to submerge and disappear in a metropolis.

Origin of nationality

First recorded in 1685–95; national + -ity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nationality

origin, society, community, citizenship, country, race, allegiance, nation

Examples from the Web for nationality

Contemporary Examples of nationality

Historical Examples of nationality

  • They at least will understand that scholarship knows no nationality.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • "Don't even know her name or nationality," he confessed to himself after a while.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • He once had been friendly with all his intelligent neighbors, no matter what their nationality.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • But the simple measure of nationality is severely natural and elemental.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • The principle of nationality is emerging from the tortuous confusion of the ages.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

British Dictionary definitions for nationality


noun plural -ties
  1. the state or fact of being a citizen of a particular nation
  2. a body of people sharing common descent, history, language, etc; a nation
  3. a national group30 different nationalities are found in this city
  4. national character or quality
  5. the state or fact of being a nation; national status
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 nationality

1690s, "national quality," from national + -ity (in some usages perhaps from French nationalité. As "fact of belonging to or being a citizen of a particular state," from 1828, gradually shading into "race, ethnicity." Meaning "separate existence as a nation" is recorded from 1832. Related: Nationalities.

But I do love a country that loves itself. I love a country that insists on its own nationality which is the same thing as a person's insisting on his own personality. [Robert Frost, letter, April 21, 1919]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper