American English

Definition of territory noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. territories)
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] land that is under the control of a particular country or ruler enemy/disputed/foreign territory occupied territories They have refused to allow U.N. troops to be stationed in their territory. Topic CollocationsWar and Peacestarting a war declare/wage war (on somebody/something) go to war (against/with somebody) cause/spark/provoke/foment/quell unrest incite/lead/crush/suppress a revolt/rebellion launch/mount/carry out a surprise/terrorist attack prevent/halt/represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/be on the brink of civil war enter/invade/occupy somebody's territory lead/launch/resist/repel an invasionmilitary operations adopt/develop/implement/pursue a military strategy carry out/execute/perform military operations/maneuvers send/deploy/station/pull back/withdraw troops go on/fly/carry out a reconnaissance/rescue mission train/equip/deploy army/military/combat units lead/launch/conduct an (air/airborne/amphibious) attack/a surprise attack (on somebody); an assault/a raid (on somebody) employ/use guerrilla tactics conduct/wage biological/guerrilla warfare fight/crush/defeat the rebels/the insurgency suffer/inflict a crushing defeat achieve/win a decisive victory halt/stop the American/German advance order/force a retreatfighting join/serve in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines/Coast Guard/reserves be/go/remain/serve on active duty do/complete/return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/strike/engage/defeat/kill/destroy the enemy witness/see/report/be engaged in heavy fighting call for/be met with armed resistance come under heavy/machine-gun/mortar fire fire a machine gun/mortar shells/rockets (at somebody/something) shoot a rifle/a pistol/bullets/missiles launch/fire a(n) cruise/ballistic/anti-tank missile use biological/chemical/nuclear weapons inflict/suffer/sustain heavy losses/casualties be hit/killed by enemy/friendly/artillery fire become/be held as/be taken as a prisoner of warcivilians in war harm/kill/target/protect innocent/unarmed civilians cause/avoid/limit/minimize civilian casualties/collateral damage impose/enforce/lift a curfew engage in/be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to a concentration/an internment camp accept/house/resettle/turn away refugees fleeing from war fear/threaten military/violent reprisals commit/be accused of war crimes/crimes against humanity/genocidemaking peace make/bring/win/achieve/maintain/promote peace call for/negotiate/broker/declare a ceasefire/a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/bring/put an end to hostilities demand/negotiate/accept the surrender of somebody/something establish/send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/conclude/ratify/sign/accept/reject/break/violate a peace treaty
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] an area that one person, group, animal, etc. considers as their own and defends against others who try to enter it Mating blackbirds will defend their territory against intruders. (figurative) This type of work is uncharted territory for us. (figurative) Legal problems are Andy's territory (= he deals with them). She seems to regard that end of the office as her territory. Each of these gangs has its own territory.
  3. 3[countable, uncountable] an area of a town, country, etc. that someone has responsibility for in their work or another activity Our representatives cover a very large territory.
  4. 4[uncountable] a particular type of land unexplored territory
  5. 5Territory [countable] a country or an area that is part of the U.S., Canada, or Australia but is not a state or province Guam and American Samoa are U.S. territories.
  6. Idioms
    come/go with the territory
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    to be a normal and accepted part of a particular job, situation, etc. She has to work late most days, but in her kind of job that goes with the territory.
    on neutral ground/territory
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    in a place that has no connection with either of the people or sides who are meeting and so does not give an advantage to either of them We decided to meet on neutral ground.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: territory