Definition of national in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnaSH(ə)n(ə)l/


1Relating to a nation; common to or characteristic of a whole nation: this policy may have been in the national interest a national newspaper
More example sentences
  • The two-hour show was televised on the national network so the whole country could watch.
  • The national team turns the whole country orange and has a massive appeal to the fans.
  • But the underlining issue is the coverage the game as a whole receives from national media.
state, public, federal, governmental;
civic, civil, domestic, internal
1.1Owned, controlled, or financially supported by the federal government: plans for a national art library
More example sentences
  • She feels at the moment there is no way to express support on a national scale.
  • If we do not choose the best to control our national assets, we dare not complain when we get the worst.
  • For the moment the data support a national ultrasound screening programme for aortic aneurysm.


1A citizen of a particular country, typically entitled to hold that country’s passport: a German national the new law on foreign nationals
More example sentences
  • Children of foreign nationals born prior to this date automatically received Irish citizenship.
  • This status affords less legal protection than foreign nationals would receive in China.
  • The outbreak of war also meant he had to return to Russia, as he was a foreign national in Germany.
citizen, subject, native;
2 (usually nationals) A nationwide competition or tournament: she finished 16th at the nationals that year


Late 16th century: from French, from Latin natio(n-) 'birth, race of people' (see nation).

Words that rhyme with national

irrational, passional, rational

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: na·tion·al

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