nation (n.)

    1. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
    2. The territory occupied by such a group of people: All across the nation, people are voting their representatives out.
  1. The government of a sovereign state.
  2. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language; a nationality.
    1. A federation or tribe, especially one composed of Native Americans.
    2. The territory occupied by such a federation or tribe.

[Middle English nacioun, from Old French nation, from Latin nti, ntin-, from ntus, past participle of nsc, to be born. See gen- in Indo-European Roots.]

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

Copyright 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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What is interesting is to trace how the term "nation" has evolved from the Native tribe of #4 (eg. Cherokee Nation, Mohawk Nation, Iroquois Nation), through the nation-state of #1 (eg. Canada, United States, Germany), to the retribalized groups of sports fans as in #3 (eg. Raider Nation, Red Sox Nation, Leaf Nation). Now, EA Sports has jumped on the trend by colonizing EA Sports Nation, a community of online sports gamers.

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