Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: GEOGRAPHY

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: contrée, from Medieval Latin contrata '(land) which lies opposite', from Latin contra; CONTRA-

country

1 noun
     
coun‧try1 S1 W1 plural countries
1 [countable]SG an area of land that is controlled by its own government, president, king etc [↪ nation]:
the Scandinavian countries
developing countries
travelling to a foreign country
mother country
2

the country

a) DN land that is outside towns and cities, including land used for farming [= the countryside]
in the country
I've always wanted to live in the country.
b) all the people who live in a particular country:
The President has the support of the country.
3DN [uncountable] an area of land that is suitable for a particular activity, has particular features or that is connected with a particular person or people:
The Peak District is good walking country.
mountainous country
the rugged moors of Brontë country
4 [uncountable] country and western music:
I'm a big fan of country.
5

go to the country

British EnglishPGP if a Prime Minister goes to the country, they ask for a general election to be held
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