9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuhn-tree] /ˈkʌn tri/
noun, plural countries.
a state or nation:
What European countries have you visited?
the territory of a nation.
the people of a district, state, or nation:
The whole country backed the president in his decision.
the land of one's birth or citizenship.
rural districts, including farmland, parkland, and other sparsely populated areas, as opposed to cities or towns:
Many city dwellers like to spend their vacations in the country.
any considerable territory demarcated by topographical conditions, by a distinctive population, etc.:
mountainous country; the Amish country of Pennsylvania.
a tract of land considered apart from any geographical or political limits; region; district.
the public.
Law. the public at large, as represented by a jury.
of, from, or characteristic of the country; rural:
a winding country road.
of, relating to, or associated with country music:
That Nashville station plays country records all day long.
rude; unpolished; rustic:
country manners.
of, from, or pertaining to a particular country.
Obsolete. of one's own country.
go to the country, British. to dissolve a Parliament that has cast a majority vote disagreeing with the prime minister and cabinet and to call for the election of a new House of Commons.
Also, appeal to the country.
put oneself upon the / one's country, Law. to present one's cause formally before a jury.
Origin of country
1200-50; Middle English cuntree < Anglo-French, Old French < Vulgar Latin *(regiō) contrāta terrain opposite the viewer, equivalent to Latin contr(ā) counter3 + -āta, feminine of -ātus -ate1; compare German Gegend region, derivative of gegen against
Related forms
intercountry, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for country
  • In the age-old cultural ebb and flow between city and country, the city has made a remarkable turnaround.
  • Every nation has violent loners, and they tend to have remarkably similar profiles from one country and culture to the next.
  • The country still has a vast problem with rural and urban poverty, and a collapsing education system.
  • Why don't you compare total taxes payed for each country.
  • Children of that age are turning the country's demographics on its head.
  • Collectively, these addresses chronicle the course of this country from its earliest days to the present.
  • Yet one can also find distinctive folk and indigenous musical genres in various regions of the country.
  • Many job applicants seeking academic positions in another country fail to ask about the conditions that their families will face.
  • At its last meeting, the group reviewed plans for a new public university, the country's fourth.
  • The group provides health care to amputees and others disadvantaged by the country's long history of war and poverty.
British Dictionary definitions for country


noun (pl) -tries
a territory distinguished by its people, culture, language, geography, etc
an area of land distinguished by its political autonomy; state
the people of a territory or state: the whole country rebelled
an area associated with a particular person: Burns country
  1. the part of the land that is away from cities or industrial areas; rural districts
  2. (as modifier): country cottage
  3. (in combination): a countryman
related adjective pastoral rural
short for country music
(archaic) a particular locality or district
up country, away from the coast or the capital
one's native land or nation of citizenship
(Brit, informal) the country, the outlying area or area furthest from the finish of a sports ground or racecourse
(modifier) rough; uncouth; rustic: country manners
across country, not keeping to roads, etc
(mainly Brit) go to the country, appeal to the country, to dissolve Parliament and hold an election
unknown country, an unfamiliar topic, place, matter, etc
Word Origin
C13: from Old French contrée, from Medieval Latin contrāta, literally: that which lies opposite, from Latin contrā opposite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for country

mid-13c., "district, native land," from Old French contree, from Vulgar Latin *(terra) contrata "(land) lying opposite," or "(land) spread before one," from Latin contra "opposite, against" (see contra-). Sense narrowed 1520s to rural areas, as opposed to cities. Replaced Old English land. As an adjective from late 14c. First record of country-and-western music style is from 1942. Country club first recorded 1886. Country mile "a long way" is from 1915, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for country



Quite competent; reliable: He's a prettygood country ball player; gets his pitches over the plate •The phrase is meant as moderate yet distinct praise of a person who might not be as spectacular as a big-city performer

Related Terms

another country heard from

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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