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nation (n.)

14世纪 , nacioun ,"人种,具有共同祖先和语言的一大群人",来自古法语 nacion "出生,等级;后裔,亲属;国家,故乡"(12世纪),直接来自拉丁语 nationem (名词 natio )"出生,起源。品种、种群、种类、物种;人种、部落",字面意思是"已经出生的东西",来自 natus ,过去分词 nasci "出生"(古拉丁文 gnasci ),来自PIE词根 *gene- "生育、生养",衍生词指生殖和家庭、部落群体。

该词在英语中的使用,有广义的,"一个民族的种族 一个同族家族的人的集合体,说同一种语言",也有狭义的,"一个由政府和臣民或公民组成的政治社会,构成一个政治单位;一个有组织的共同体,居住在一个确定的地域内,在这个地域内行使其主权"。

在中古英语中,两者不易区分,但"政治社会"的意义在16世纪,也许是14世纪末就出现了,而且它逐渐占据了主导地位。较早的意义保留在对北美原住民的应用 nation (1640年代)。 Nation-building "创建一个新的国家"在1907年得到证明(隐含在 nation-builder )。 Nation-state "主权国家,其居民因语言、文化和共同血统而团结在一起"是1918年的。

A nation is an organized community within a certain territory; or in other words, there must be a place where its sole sovereignty is exercised. [Theodore D. Woolsey, "Introduction to the Study of International Law," 1864] 

Origin and meaning of nation

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Definitions of nation from WordNet
1
nation (n.)
a politically organized body of people under a single government;
African nations
students who had come to the nation's capitol
Synonyms: state / country / land / commonwealth / res publica / body politic
nation (n.)
the people who live in a nation or country;
the news was announced to the nation
a statement that sums up the nation's mood
Synonyms: land / country
nation (n.)
a federation of tribes (especially Native American tribes);
the Shawnee nation
2
Nation (n.)
United States prohibitionist who raided saloons and destroyed bottles of liquor with a hatchet (1846-1911);
Synonyms: Carry Nation / Carry Amelia Moore Nation
From wordnet.princeton.edu