Definition of mother country in US English:

mother country


often the mother country
  • A country in relation to its colonies.

    ‘the bicentennial of our separation from the mother country’
    • ‘France had a dynamic plantation economy in the Americas, but its benefits seem to have been confined to limited enclaves within the mother country.’
    • ‘All of the work done to cultivate the land in the Cape Verde Islands during the centuries of Portuguese occupation was done for Portugal, as produce was returned to the mother country.’
    • ‘My English friend, on his maiden voyage to the States, had stumbled upon one of those little linguistic divergences between the colonies and the mother country.’
    • ‘During the nineteenth century the countries of America consolidated their political independence from the mother country, but spiritual slavery continued.’
    • ‘But many of the former English-speaking colonies are now better off than the mother country, while uncolonized Ethiopia and Nepal remain poor.’
    • ‘There have always been strong ties between India and the mother country - from democracy to sport.’
    • ‘The relationship between the mother country and the remaining colonies, the Netherlands Antilles and Surinam, was to be put on an equal footing.’
    • ‘Brazil was a colony of Portugal until 1822 when Pedro I, the crown prince, declared its independence from the mother country.’
    • ‘Essentially everyone was in business for themselves, supplying the necessities and luxuries of the colonies while supplying the established mother country with raw materials.’
    • ‘There are fewer opportunities to trade with the mother country in a far colony.’
    • ‘In the West Indies, the tightening of the colonial compact, which demanded that colonies provide surplus value to their mother country, perpetuated the sense of grievance colonials felt toward French merchants.’
    • ‘In the course of his article Anderson makes the important observation that Israel is unique as a settler state because its immigrants had no mother country in whose colonial interests they were dispatched.’
    • ‘Here on this side of the pond we tend to forget how much of our culture and government we inherited from the mother country, and we forget the mutual influences that our countries have had on each other down through the centuries.’
    • ‘Spanish-held territories in the Western Hemisphere fought successful wars of independence from the mother country, beginning early in the nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Coming from a close-knit Irish family that can trace its roots in the mother country back to 1610, just how did he decide to come and live in Pattaya?’
    • ‘It was roughly another 90 years until democracy took hold in the mother country.’
    • ‘The son of a shipping executive and a Foreign Office worker, he was raised in the strict English manner favoured by many expatriate families before being despatched back to the mother country to attend boarding school.’
    • ‘As the American colonies were the first to rebel against a European mother country, so the American states were the first to bring forth a new nation.’
    • ‘On disembarking in France, French Algerian émigrés realized they loved their country of birth and its Arab citizens more than the mother country, which few of them knew.’
    • ‘Yet the colonies constantly challenged the ideas and standards of the mother country.’
    native land, homeland, home town, birthplace, roots, fatherland, motherland, country of origin, land of one's fathers, the old country
    View synonyms


mother country

/ˈˌməT͟Hər ˈˌkəntrē//ˈˌməðər ˈˌkəntri/