From Middle English nacioun, nacion, borrowed from Old French nation, nacion, nasion (“nation”), from Latin nātiōnem, accusative of (g)nātiō (“nation, race, birth”) from (g)nātus, past participle stem of (g)nāscī (“to be born”). Displaced native Middle English theode, thede (“nation”) (from Old English þēod), Middle English burthe (“birth, nation, race, nature”), Middle English leod, leode, lede (“people, race”) (from Old English lēod). Compare Saterland Frisian Nation (“nation”), West Frisian naasje (“nation”), Dutch natie (“nation”), German Low German Natschoon (“nation”). German Nation (“nation”), Danish nation (“nation”), Norwegian Bokmål nasjon (“nation”), Norwegian Nynorsk nasjon (“nation”), Swedish nation (“nation”).
nation (plural nations)
- A historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, ethnicity and/or psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.
- The Roma are a nation without a country.
- The Kurdish people constitute a nation in the Middle East
- (international law) A sovereign state.
- 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
- It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: […] perhaps to muse on the irrelevance of the borders that separate nation states and keep people from understanding their shared environment.
- Though legally single nations, many states comprise several distinct cultural or ethnic groups.
- (chiefly historical) An association of students based on its members' birthplace or ethnicity.
- Once widespread across Europe in medieval times, nations are now largely restricted to the ancient universities of Sweden and Finland.
- (obsolete) A great number; a great deal.
- 1762, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, volume V, new edition, Altenburgh: G. E. Richter, published 1772, page 57:
- […] and what a nation of herbs he had procured to mollify her humours, &c. &c. […]
- (British) Following the establishment of the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, England, Scotland and Wales are normally considered distinct nations. Application of the term nation to the United Kingdom as a whole is deprecated in most style guides, including the BBC, most newspapers and in UK Government publications. Northern Ireland, being of less clear legal status, generally remains a province.
Probably short for damnation.
- (rare) Damnation.
- (rare, dialectal) Extremely, very.
- 1884 December 10, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XIX, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) […], London: Chatto & Windus, […], OCLC 458431182, page 186:
- “Looky here, Bilgewater,” he says, “I’m nation sorry for you, but you ain’t the only person that’s had troubles like that.”
- "Notable and Quotable," Merriam Webster Online Newsletter (November, 2005)  (as accessed on December 23, 2005).
- a nation, a people with a common identity, united in history, culture or language
- a nation, a country that is a politically independent unity
nation f (plural nations)
- “nation” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
nation f (plural nations)
- French: nation
- a nation, a nationality, a people
- a nation, a country, a state
- a union or fraternity of students from the same province
|Declension of nation|