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See also: nâtion and Nation


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia en


Etymology 1[edit]

PIE root

From Middle English nacion, nacioun, from Old French nation, nacion, nasion ‎(nation), from Latin nationem, accusative of natio, (g)natio ‎(nation, race, birth) from (g)natus, past participle stem of (g)nasci ‎(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), Middle Low German nacie ‎(nation), German Nation ‎(nation), Danish nation ‎(nation), Swedish nation ‎(nation).


nation ‎(plural nations)

  1. 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
  2. (international law) A sovereign state.
    • 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, 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.
  3. (chiefly historical) An association of students based on their birthplace or ethnicity. syn.
    Once widespread across Europe in medieval times, nations are now largely restricted to the ancient universities of Sweden and Finland.
  4. (obsolete) A great number; a great deal.
    • Laurence Sterne
      [] and what a nation of herbs he had procured to mollify her humours, &c. &c. []
Usage notes[edit]
  • (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.
  • (nationality, people group, race or kindred): thede
  • (an association of students): student nation
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Etymology 2[edit]

Probably short for damnation.



  1. (rare) Damnation.



  1. (rare, dialectal) Extremely; very
    • Mark Twain:
      I'm nation sorry for you.


  • "Notable and Quotable," Merriam Webster Online Newsletter (November, 2005) [1] (as accessed on December 23, 2005).


Most common English words before 1923: silver · winter · expect · #963: nation · legal · spread · enter



French Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia fr


Borrowed from Latin nationem, accusative singular of natio.



nation f ‎(plural nations)

  1. nation

Derived terms[edit]


External links[edit]

Middle French[edit]


nation f (plural nations)

  1. nation


Swedish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sv



nation c

  1. a nation, a nationality, a people
  2. a nation, a country, a state
  3. a union or fraternity of students from the same province


Inflection of nation 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative nation nationen nationer nationerna
Genitive nations nationens nationers nationernas

Related terms[edit]