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na·tion (nāshən)
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n.
1.
a. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
b. The territory occupied by such a group of people: All across the nation, people are voting their representatives out.
2. The government of a sovereign state.
3. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language; a nationality: "Historically the Ukrainians are an ancient nation which has persisted and survived through terrible calamity" (Robert Conquest).
4.
a. A federation or tribe, especially one composed of Native Americans.
b. The territory occupied by such a federation or tribe.

[Middle English nacioun, from Old French nation, from Latin nātiō, nātiōn-, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

nation·hood n.
nation·less adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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