the state or quality of having status as a separate and independent nation: an African colony that achieved nationhood.

1840–50; nation + -hood Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
nation (ˈneɪʃən)
1.  an aggregation of people or peoples of one or more cultures, races, etc, organized into a single state: the Australian nation
2.  a community of persons not constituting a state but bound by common descent, language, history, etc: the French-Canadian nation
3.  a.  a federation of tribes, esp American Indians
 b.  the territory occupied by such a federation
[C13: via Old French from Latin nātiō birth, tribe, from nascī to be born]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
The generals subsidised sales of television sets to build a sense of nationhood
  in a large and then largely illiterate country.
Most of these stabs at nationhood have been frivolous and some crackpot.
Perhaps because the historic claim to nationhood is shaky, language has become
  an obsession for the nationalists.
The great trend in the modern era has inarguably been towards independent
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