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From national +‎ -ity, perhaps after French nationalité; ultimately from Latin nātio (nation, people).


  • IPA(key): /ˌnæʃ.əˈnæl.ɪ.ti/, /ˌnæʃ.ˈnæl.ɪ.ti/, /-ˈnæl.ə.ti/, /-ˈnæl.ti/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: na‧tion‧al‧i‧ty, na‧tion‧al‧ity


nationality (plural nationalities)

  1. (now rare) National, i.e. ethnic and/or cultural, character or identity. [from 17th c.]
    • 1968, Sayyid Jamāl ad-Dīn, “Answer of Jamāl ad-Dīn to Renan”, in Nikki R. Keddie, translated by Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism[1], University of California Press, →LCCN, page 185:
      [] permit me to say that the Harranians were Arabs and that the Arabs in occupying Spain and Andalusia did not lose their nationality; they remained Arabs. [] The fact that they preserved their former religion, Sabaeanism, does not mean they should be considered foreign to the Arab nationality.
  2. (now rare) Nationalism or patriotism. [from 18th c.]
    • 1791, James Boswell, Life of Johnson, Oxford, published 2008, page 599:
      ‘You are, to be sure, wonderfully free from that nationality: but so it happens, that you employ the only Scotch shoe-black in London.’
  3. National origin or identity; legal membership of a particular nation or state, by origin, birth, naturalization, ownership, allegiance or otherwise. [from 18th c.]
    By living in the country for five years, you are entitled to get nationality.
    Stefi was born in Spain to a Brazilian father and a Chilean mother, so is eligible for three nationalities.
    Please include your nationality on the form.
  4. A people sharing a common origin, culture and/or language, and possibly constituting a nation-state. [from 19th c.]
  5. (obsolete) Political existence, independence or unity as a national entity. [19th c.]


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