) KEY NOUN: pl. coun·tries
- A nation or state.
- The territory of a nation or state; land.
- The people of a nation or state; populace: The whole country will profit from the new economic reforms.
- The land of a person's birth or citizenship: Foreign travel is restricted in his country.
- A region, territory, or large tract of land distinguishable by features of topography, biology, or culture: hill country; Bible country.
- An area or expanse outside cities and towns; a rural area: a vacation in the country.
- Law A jury.
- Informal Country music.
IDIOM: in country
- Of, relating to, or typical of the country: a country road; country cooking.
- Of or relating to country music.
- In Vietnam during the period of U.S. military operations there: "He'd been in country a month longer than the other four" (Nelson DeMille).
Middle English countre
, from Old French contree
, from Vulgar Latin *(terra) contrta
, (land) opposite, before
, from Latin contr
; see kom
in Indo-European roots