American English

Definition of country noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. countries)
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  1. 1[countable] an area of land that has or used to have its own government and laws European countries leading industrial countries She didn't know what life in a foreign country would be like. It's good to meet people from different parts of the country.
  2. 2[uncountable] (often following an adjective) an area of land, especially with particular physical features, suitable for a particular purpose or connected with a particular person or people open/wooded, etc. country superb walking country Explore Eudora Welty country. see also backcountry
  3. 3the country [singular] the people of a country; the nation as a whole They have the support of most of the country. The rich benefited from the reforms, not the country as a whole. see also mother country, old country, upcountry
  4. 4the country [singular] any area outside towns and cities, with fields, woods, farms, etc. to live in the country We spent a pleasant day in the country. a country lane Topic CollocationsTown and Countrytown live in a city/a town/an urban environment/the suburbs/the (housing) projects/shanty towns/slums/ (informal) a concrete jungle/the ghetto live downtown/in the downtown area/uptown/in midtown (Manhattan) enjoy/like the hectic pace of life/the hustle and bustle of city life cope with the stress/pressures of urban life get caught up in the rat race prefer/seek the anonymity of life in a big city be drawn to/resist the lure of the big city head for the bright lights (of the big city/New York) enjoy/love the vibrant/lively nightlife have/be close to all the amenities be surrounded by towering skyscrapers/soulless suburban sprawl use/travel by/rely on public transportation put up with/get stuck in/sit in massive/huge/heavy/endless/constant traffic jams tackle/ease/reduce/relieve/alleviate the heavy/severe (traffic) congestion be affected by/choked with/damaged by pollutioncountry live in a village/the countryside/an isolated area/a rural backwater/ (informal) the sticks/the boondocks enjoy/like the relaxed/slower pace of life enjoy/love/explore the great outdoors look for/find/get/enjoy a little peace and quiet need/want to get back/closer to nature be surrounded by open/unspoiled/picturesque/peaceful countryside escape/quit/get out of/leave the rat race seek/achieve a better/healthy work-life balance downshift to a less stressful life build/seek/start a new life in the country pull up stakes and move to/head for… create/build/foster a strong sense of community depend on/be employed in/work in agriculture live off/farm/work the land tackle/address the problem of rural/small-town unemployment
  5. 5[uncountable] = country music pop, folk and country
  6. Thesauruscountrylandscape countryside terrain land sceneryThese are all words for areas away from towns and cities, with fields, woods, and (often the country) an area that is away from towns and cities, especially one with particular natural, social, or economic features:She lives in the country. Texas is cattle country.landscape everything that you can see when you look across a large area of land, especially in the country:Iowa's landscape is mostly flat and grassy.countryside land outside towns and cities, with fields, woods, and farms. Countryside is usually used when you are talking about the beauty or peacefulness of a country area:a little town in the Vermont countrysideterrain (formal) land Terrain is used when you are describing the natural features of an area, for example if it is rough, flat, etc:The truck bumped its way over the rough (usually the land) an area for farming:He has worked the land for twenty years. My parents grow all their own food and live off the land.scenery the natural features of an area, such as mountains, valleys, rivers, and forests, especially when these are attractive to look at:We stopped on the mountain pass to admire the scenery.Patterns mountainous/wild/rugged country/landscape/countryside/terrain/scenery beautiful/glorious/dramatic country/landscape/countryside/scenery open country/landscape/countryside/terrain/land rolling landscape/countryside to protect the landscape/countryside/landIdioms
    across country
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    directly across fields, etc.; not by a main road riding across country see also cross-country
    it's a free country (informal)
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    used as a reply when someone suggests that you should not do something It's a free country; I'll say whatever I want!
Which Word?country / state Country is the most usual, neutral word for a geographical area that has or used to have its own central government. State usually refers to one of the 50 states of the U.S.:the state of Alabama State can also emphasize the political organization of an area under an independent government. It can also mean the government:the member states of the EU The state provides free education. heads of state (= leaders of various nations)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: country