Definition of territory in English:

territory

Line breaks: ter¦ri|tory
Pronunciation: /ˈtɛrɪt(ə)ri
 
/

noun (plural territories)

  • 1An area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state: the government was prepared to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory [mass noun]: sorties into enemy territory
    More example sentences
    • The leader decided that he would never lose power again and openly declared that he would accept support from anyone including bandits and evil rulers from other territories.
    • It is binding on all States in all territories under their jurisdiction or effective control.
    • As each of the rulers of these territories claimed he was the rightful successor, a bloody war that lasted for generations was fought.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1 Zoology An area defended by an animal or group of animals against others of the same sex or species: male blackbirds try to attract as many females to their territory as possible
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    • Most species defend small territories only during spawning.
    • The off-center peak of this creature's shell allows the limpet to use it like a bulldozer to clear its territory of other animals.
    • Breeding pairs defend large territories for nesting and foraging.
  • 1.2An area defended by a team or player in a game or sport.
    More example sentences
    • Wharfedale, it seemed, had only to pressure the territory, play the game behind their opponents on the turn and kick downhill for the corners.
    • Two teams of six players each defend a territory.
    • Whenever his Wanderers team were awarded a free-kick in Leicester territory he placed two players in what can only be described as wildly offside positions inside the penalty area.
  • 1.3An area in which one has certain rights or for which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type of activity: don’t go committing murders on my territory
    More example sentences
    • The sales force went through major change in 1992 when regional business managers were appointed with budgetary responsibility for their territory.
    • In terms of your own department, function, territory or responsibility, how can your company enhance its market share of some product or service?
    • The accountancy/small biz software specialist now wants to be known as Best Software in the US, a territory now responsible for more than half group sales.
    Synonyms
    domain, area of concern/interest/knowledge, province, department, field, preserve, sphere, arena, realm, world
    informal bailiwick, turf
    sphere of operations, area, section, stamping ground; haunts, purlieus
    informal turf
    British informal patch, manor
  • 1.4 [mass noun, with adjective or noun modifier] Land with a specified characteristic: woodland territory
    More example sentences
    • The hikers start in tropical rainforest territory and travel through moorlands, alpine meadows and glaciers on the summit.
    • In between were vast distances of open territory and rugged inhospitable land.
    • In general, it was assumed in the early development of international law that control of natural resources depended on the acquisition of sovereignty over land territory and territorial seas.
    Synonyms
    terrain, land, tract of land, ground, countryside
  • 2 (Territory) (Especially in the US, Canada, or Australia) an organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to the full rights of a state.
    More example sentences
    • I'd only been home for five months, having been living in the hills of the Northern Territories in Canada before this trip.
    • The national figures compare Years Three and Five reading and numeracy levels across Australian States and Territories.
    • Many of the Australian States and Territories have enacted child welfare legislation during the past decade.
  • 3 [mass noun] An area of knowledge, activity, or experience: the contentious territory of clinical standards the way she felt now—she was in unknown territory
    More example sentences
    • Rock critics often like to elevate music to a higher plane, taking it beyond the realm of everyday experience and into quasi-mythical territory.
    • Now this was unknown territory for our modest music scene.
    • It's always interesting to be faced with completely unknown territory.

Phrases

go (or come) with the territory

Be an unavoidable result of a particular situation.
More example sentences
  • ‘The responsibility goes with the territory and I will always put duty before leisure in those terms’, he said.
  • We will always get criticism, it goes with the territory when doing winter maintenance operations.
  • That rationale might not strike a chord with every football fan but then enlightened self-interest goes with the territory of football club ownership.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin territorium, from terra 'land'. The word originally denoted the district surrounding and under the jurisdiction of a town or city, specifically a Roman or provincial city.

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