Meaning of “country” in the English Dictionary

"country" in British English

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countrynoun

us uk /ˈkʌn.tri/

country noun (POLITICAL UNIT)

A1 [ C ] an area of land that has its own government, army, etc.:

What is the largest country in Europe?
Sri Lanka is my native country, but I've been living in Belgium for the past five years.
The climate is cooler in the east of the country.
the country

C2 all the people who live in a country:

The whole country celebrated the signing of the peace treaty.

More examples

  • After ten years of military dictatorship, the country now has a civil government.
  • French cheeses are exported to many different countries.
  • The Arab countries include Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt.
  • Tibet, once an independent country, is now part of China.
  • The government has done little or nothing to help the poorest people in this country.

country noun (NATURAL LAND)

A2 [ S or U ] land that is not in towns, cities, or industrial areas and is either used for farming or left in its natural condition:

He lives out in the country somewhere.
Would you prefer to live in the country instead of a town?
Country life isn't always as peaceful as city-dwellers think.
It's often quicker to travel across country and avoid the major roads completely.

More examples

  • We would dearly love to sell our flat and move to the country.
  • Five soldiers died after their bus was ambushed on a country road.
  • They have a house in the country and a flat in London.
  • I found not having a car quite a handicap when I was living in the country.
  • We spent a luxurious weekend at a hotel in the country.

(Definition of “country” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"country" in American English

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countrynoun

us /ˈkʌn·tri/

country noun (POLITICAL UNIT)

[ C ] an area of land that forms an independent political unit with its own government; a nation considered esp. as a place:

Cuba is my native country, but I now live in Florida.

country noun (NATURAL LAND)

[ U ] land that is not in towns, cities, or industrial areas and is either used for farming or left in its natural condition:

I’m spending next weekend in the country with a friend.

(Definition of “country” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)