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national Line breaks: na|tion¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈnaʃ(ə)n(ə)l/

Definition of national in English:


1Relating to or characteristic of a nation; common to 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.
1.1Owned, controlled, or financially supported by the state: 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.


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1A citizen of a particular country: a German national
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, resident, inhabitant;
2 (usually nationals) A national newspaper as opposed to a local one: the inability of the local press to compete with the nationals for news
More example sentences
  • He was in all the nationals and on the front page of one of the broadsheets by Saturday morning.
  • The new technology could one day be extended to cover British nationals.
  • The protagonist of the book is a journalist who works for a local paper and also freelances for the nationals.
3 (the National) another name for Grand National.


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



[sentence adverb]: nationally, there has been a 2.5 per cent drop in car crime
More example sentences
  • He was told that the Local Government Association was looking at how to deal with the problem nationally.
  • This places the school in the top quarter of similar schools nationally.
  • Car traffic is growing by one per cent a year nationally and in York we are trying to prevent further growth.

Words that rhyme with national

irrational, passional, rational

Definition of national in:

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Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive