Definition of national in English:



  • 1Relating to or characteristic of a nation; common to a whole nation.

    ‘this policy may have been in the national interest’
    ‘a national newspaper’
    • ‘But the underlining issue is the coverage the game as a whole receives from national media.’
    • ‘It was like our whole dysfunctional national dream had played out in front of the world.’
    • ‘For the game in Scotland as a whole, for the national team and even for the Old Firm, that is good news.’
    • ‘Others believe that the forging of a common national identity will help eliminate racism.’
    • ‘Such was the media indignation that his frightful suicide was not reported in any national newspaper.’
    • ‘It is printed on the front page of every issue of the national newspaper, The Neutral Turkmenistan.’
    • ‘Rugby is the one thing New Zealanders are good at, and their whole national identity is wrapped up in it.’
    • ‘Maximizing their gains demands a disciplined and rational investment strategy that is truly national in its scope.’
    • ‘It is a national characteristic that even when there is a cause to celebrate, we seek to undermine it.’
    • ‘The national team turns the whole country orange and has a massive appeal to the fans.’
    • ‘Europe is stuck, perhaps for generations to come, in the logic of national interest.’
    • ‘A sentimental identification with the underdog is one of our national characteristics.’
    • ‘It is just a given, so the whole thing revolves and devolves down to the national interest.’
    • ‘The two-hour show was televised on the national network so the whole country could watch.’
    • ‘We must note that the substantive role of the senators is to protect the national interest.’
    • ‘Unison and strong voices are required to make a national issue of the whole fiasco!’
    • ‘She has written a letter to a national newspaper about the disappearance of the cygnets.’
    • ‘Not only was he convinced that national unity was possible, but also desirable.’
    • ‘A firm may even take some of its national characteristics with it when it ventures abroad.’
    • ‘I don't think they've even started thinking about a new national anthem.’
    state, public, federal, governmental
    nationwide, countrywide, state, coast-to-coast, general, widespread, overall, comprehensive
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    1. 1.1Owned, controlled, or financially supported by the state.
      ‘plans for a national art library’
      • ‘The counter is that in a global economy, national control is worth less than pooled resources.’
      • ‘For the moment the data support a national ultrasound screening programme for aortic aneurysm.’
      • ‘If we do not choose the best to control our national assets, we dare not complain when we get the worst.’
      • ‘We decided to use an image of Yellowstone because it was the first national park.’
      • ‘The first revolves around the move to put the national companies under direct government control.’
      • ‘All the evidence suggests that the wrong people are in charge of both civic and national security.’
      • ‘Would you expect international and national tribunals to act differently in these respects?’
      • ‘He called for a new appraisal of public health and urged the Government to formulate a national policy on it.’
      • ‘Sales of national art treasures to wealthy foreigners have led to hard feelings.’
      • ‘The same principle ought to apply to the national heritage of print stored in national libraries.’
      • ‘Most of the money that finances local government comes from the national coffers.’
      • ‘Today, the world's first national park still faces challenges and offers marvels.’
      • ‘She feels at the moment there is no way to express support on a national scale.’
      • ‘How can the right balance be found between preservation of national treasures and public access to them?’
      • ‘The arts and the national companies are an essential part of our rich and diverse society.’


  • 1A citizen of a particular country.

    ‘a German national’
    • ‘Sixteen foreign nationals are currently being held under these conditions in UK prisons.’
    • ‘The occupants of one of the cars were local while the occupants of the other vehicle were all believed to be foreign nationals.’
    • ‘Children of foreign nationals born prior to this date automatically received Irish citizenship.’
    • ‘This status affords less legal protection than foreign nationals would receive in China.’
    • ‘Currently he is only allowed to detain foreign nationals without trial.’
    • ‘English classes are available to foreign nationals, who wish to learn both spoken and written English.’
    • ‘Still, it is hard to defend detaining foreign nationals without charges or trial.’
    • ‘Three Pakistani nationals have now been arrested in London in connection with the seizure.’
    • ‘She would not say if the law could also be extended to Chinese nationals living overseas.’
    • ‘The marines had been hastily deployed to evacuate British nationals from the anarchy.’
    • ‘Nationals of certain countries have to obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland.’
    • ‘The Cambodian government vowed to pay Thailand for the damage caused and to protect Thai nationals who returned.’
    • ‘North Korea has admitted to abducting Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s.’
    • ‘The outbreak of war also meant he had to return to Russia, as he was a foreign national in Germany.’
    • ‘A Ministry of Defence spokesman insisted the troops were being sent only to evacuate British nationals.’
    • ‘Critics complain that the laws violate the human rights of foreign nationals.’
    • ‘And up next, more than 3 million Mexican nationals live illegally in the United States.’
    • ‘Britain is evacuating its nationals from the country.’
    • ‘Some nations confer citizenship if you marry a national of that country.’
    • ‘One Saudi national was held for 119 days before being charged.’
    citizen, subject, native, resident, inhabitant
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  • 2A national newspaper as opposed to a local one.

    ‘the inability of the local press to compete with the nationals for news’
    • ‘The new technology could one day be extended to cover British nationals.’
    • ‘And he never fails to come up trumps, his byline appears in all the nationals all the time.’
    • ‘He was in all the nationals and on the front page of one of the broadsheets by Saturday morning.’
    • ‘The protagonist of the book is a journalist who works for a local paper and also freelances for the nationals.’
  • 3

    another name for Grand National


Late 16th century: from French, from Latin natio(n-) birth, race of people (see nation).