Etymology
Advertisement

national (adj.)

"of or pertaining to a nation or a country regarded as a whole; established and maintained by the nation; peculiar to the whole people of a country," 1590s, from French national (16c., from Old French nacion), and also from nation + -al (1). Opposed to local or provincial (or in the U.S., state).

Meaning "peculiar or common to the whole people of a country" is by 1620s. From 1802 as "established and maintained by the nation or its laws." As a noun, "citizen of a (particular) nation," from 1887. Related: Nationally

National guard is from 1793, originally in reference to an armed force in France identified with the revolution; U.S. use is from 1847, originally a name sometimes given to the organized militia. National anthem is recorded by 1806. 

A King though he's pestered with cares,
    For the most part he's able to ban them;
But one comes in a shape he never can escape—
    The implacable National Anthem!
[W.S. Gilbert, "His Excellency," 1894] 

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of national
1
national (adj.)
inside the country;
Synonyms: home / interior / internal
national (adj.)
of or relating to or belonging to a nation or country;
a national landmark
national hero
national anthem
national (adj.)
limited to or in the interests of a particular nation;
national interests
isolationism is a strictly national policy
national (adj.)
concerned with or applicable to or belonging to an entire nation or country;
national elections
the national highway system
the national government
national forests
of national concern
national (adj.)
owned or maintained for the public by the national government;
national parks
national (adj.)
characteristic of or peculiar to the people of a nation;
a national trait
national (adj.)
of or relating to nationality;
national origin
2
national (n.)
a person who owes allegiance to that nation;
Synonyms: subject
From wordnet.princeton.edu