Meaning of COUNTRY in English


I. coun ‧ try 1 S1 W1 /ˈkʌntri/ BrE AmE noun ( plural countries )

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: contrée , from Medieval Latin contrata '(land) which lies opposite' , from Latin contra ; ⇨ ↑ contra- ]

1 . [countable] an area of land that is controlled by its own government, president, king etc ⇨ nation :

the Scandinavian countries

developing countries

travelling to a foreign country

⇨ ↑ mother country

2 . the country

a) land that is outside towns and cities, including land used for farming SYN the countryside

in the country

I’ve always wanted to live in the country.

b) all the people who live in a particular country:

The President has the support of the country.

3 . [uncountable] an area of land that is suitable for a particular activity, has particular features, or is connected with a particular person or people:

The Peak District is good walking country.

mountainous country

the rugged moors of Brontë country

4 . [uncountable] country and western music:

I’m a big fan of country.

5 . go to the country British English if a prime minister goes to the country, they ask for a ↑ general election to be held

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)


▪ a foreign country (=not your own country)

Have you ever worked in a foreign country?

▪ a strange country (=not your own country)

She was in a strange country, with no friends and no family.

▪ a European/African/Asian etc country

The President will be visiting four European countries.

▪ a democratic/capitalist/communist etc country

the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe

▪ your home/native country (=where you were born or live permanently)

After five years in America, she returned to her home country, Japan.

▪ a developing/Third World country (=poor and trying to increase its industry and trade)

Many developing countries receive some foreign aid.

▪ a developed country (=rich and where most people have a comfortable life)

Developed countries are responsible for most emissions of carbon dioxide.

▪ an underdeveloped country (=poor and developing more slowly than others)

The disease still exists, mainly in underdeveloped countries.

▪ an industrialized country

America and other industrialized countries

▪ an advanced country

technologically advanced countries such as Japan

▪ a Christian/Muslim/Catholic etc country

England became a Christian country in the seventh century.

▪ your adopted country (=that you have chosen to live in permanently)

I felt proud of my adopted country, America.

▪ a great country (=important, with many past achievements)

the great countries of Europe

▪ an independent country (=not controlled by another country)

Malaysia has been an independent country since 1963.

▪ an occupied country (=controlled by an army from another country)

For many years, Egypt was an occupied country.

▪ a free country (=where people’s actions are not too restricted)

You can go where you like – it’s a free country.

▪ a member country (=belonging to a particular international organization)

the member countries of the European Community

▪ the host country (=where an event is held)

Which is the host country for the next Olympic Games?

■ verbs

▪ run/govern the country (=officially control a country)

The government has the job of running the country.

▪ rule a country (=have complete control of a country)

For a long time the country was ruled by military dictators.

▪ leave the country

The journalists were given 24 hours to leave the country.

▪ flee the country (=leave it very quickly to avoid trouble)

At the outbreak of the war, many people fled the country.

▪ serve your country (=work for your country in an official way)

Remember those who are serving our country as soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

▪ lead the country

She became the first woman to lead the country.

▪ represent your country

It’s a great honour to be chosen to represent your country in a sport.

▪ betray your country (=be disloyal, especially by giving secrets to other countries)

He betrayed his country for the sake of communism.

■ phrases

▪ sb’s/sth’s country of origin (=where you were born or live permanently, or where something was produced)

Please give your name, age, and country of origin.

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)


▪ open country (=away from towns, and with few buildings, walls, trees etc)

We left the city and headed towards the open country in the north.

▪ wild country (=not used or farmed by people)

I love the wild country of the Scottish Highlands.

▪ rough country (=difficult to travel over)

a vehicle especially designed for rough country

▪ walking/riding/farming etc country

To the east is an area of rich farming country.

▪ mountain/mountainous country

a vast stretch of mountain country

▪ hill/hilly country

He grew up in Texas hill country.

▪ wooded country (=with a lot of trees)

They escaped through hilly, wooded country.

▪ desert country

Not much grows in this desert country.

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▪ country an area of land controlled by its own government, president, king etc:

Thailand is a beautiful country.


Which country would you most like to visit?

▪ nation a country, considered especially in relation to its people and its political and economic structure:

The events shocked the whole nation.


The US is the most powerful nation in the world.


Leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations attended the meeting.

▪ state a country considered as a political organization with its own government:

They believe that Scotland should be an independent sovereign state.


Most European states joined the Council of Europe.

▪ power a country that is very strong and important:

a meeting of the great powers


Britain is still a world power.

▪ superpower one of the most powerful countries in the world:

During the Cuban Missile Crisis there was a real danger of conflict between the two world superpowers.

▪ land literary a country – used in stories:

He told them about his journeys to foreign lands.


a traveller from a far-off land

II. country 2 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

1 . belonging to or connected with the countryside SYN rural OPP urban :

They much preferred country life to life in the city.

2 . relating to country and western music:

a country singer

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.