|territory (ˈtɛrɪtərɪ, -trɪ)|
|—n , pl -ries|
|1.||any tract of land; district|
|2.||the geographical domain under the jurisdiction of a political unit, esp of a sovereign state|
|3.||the district for which an agent, etc, is responsible: a salesman's territory|
|4.||an area inhabited and defended by an individual animal or a breeding group of animals|
|5.||an area of knowledge: science isn't my territory|
|6.||(in football, hockey, etc) the area defended by a team|
|7.||(often capital) a region of a country, esp of a federal state, that enjoys less autonomy and a lower status than most constituent parts of the state|
|8.||(often capital) a protectorate or other dependency of a country|
|[C15: from Latin territōrium land surrounding a town, from terra land]|
|territory (těr'ĭ-tôr'ē) Pronunciation Key
A geographic area occupied by a single animal, mating pair, or group. Animals usually defend their territory vigorously against intruders, especially of the same species, but the defense often takes the form of prominent, threatening displays rather than out-and-out fighting. Different animals mark off territory in different ways, as by leaving traces of their scent along the boundaries or, in the case of birds, modifying their calls to keep out intruders.
see come with the territory; cover the field (territory).
in ecology, any area defended by an organism or a group of similar organisms for such purposes as mating, nesting, roosting, or feeding. Most vertebrates and some invertebrates, such as arthropods, including insects, exhibit territorial behaviour. Possession of a territory involves aggressive behaviour and thus contrasts with the home range, which is the area in which the animal normally lives. Home range is not associated with aggressive behaviour, although parts of the home range may be defended: in this case the defended part is the territory. The type of territory varies with the social behaviour and environmental and resource requirements of the particular species and often serves more than one function, but whatever the type, the territory acts as a spacing mechanism and a means of allocating resources among a segment of the population and denying it to others. Some authorities also consider plants or animals that secrete repulsive chemicals into their immediate environments to be territorial, because the substances space individuals of the species apart from one another.
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