country

\ \ [13] Etymologically, the meaning of country is virtually ‘surroundings’. It originated in medieval Latin contrātuslying on the opposite side’, an adjective formed from the proposition contrāagainst, opposite’. This was used in the phrase terra contrātaland opposite or before one, spread out around one’, and soon broke free to act as a noun in its own right. In Old French it became cuntree, the form in which it was borrowed into English. Its original notion of ‘area of land’ had quickly become narrowed down to ‘district controlled or occupied by a particular people’, hence ‘nation’, but its use for ‘rural areas as opposed to cities’ does not seem to have developed until the 16th century. The compound countryside originated in Scotland and northern England, probably in the 17th century.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Country — Coun try (k?n tr?), n.; pl. {Countries} ( tr?z). [F. contr[ e]e, LL. contrata, fr. L. contra over against, on the opposite side. Cf. {Counter}, adv., {Contra}.] 1. A tract of land; a region; the territory of an independent nation; (as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • country — ► NOUN (pl. countries) 1) a nation with its own government, occupying a particular territory. 2) districts outside large urban areas. 3) an area with regard to its physical features: hill country. ● across country Cf. ↑across country …   English terms dictionary

  • Country — Coun try, a. 1. Pertaining to the regions remote from a city; rural; rustic; as, a country life; a country town; the country party, as opposed to city. [1913 Webster] 2. Destitute of refinement; rude; unpolished; rustic; not urbane; as, country… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • country — adj. (În sintagma) Muzică country = muzică din folclorul american, devenită stil în muzica uşoară contemporană. [pr.: cántri] – cuv. am. Trimis de LauraGellner, 30.07.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  COUNTRY [CÁNTRI] s. n. muzică country = muzică de cowboy …   Dicționar Român

  • country — [adj] rural, pastoral agrarian, agrestic, Arcadian, bucolic, campestral, countrified, georgic, homey, out country, outland, provincial, rustic, uncultured, unpolished, unrefined, unsophisticated; concepts 401,536,589 Ant. city, metropolitan,… …   New thesaurus

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  • country — mid 13c., district, native land, from O.Fr. contree, from V.L. * (terra) contrata (land) lying opposite, or (land) spread before one, from L. contra opposite, against (see CONTRA (Cf. contra )). Sense narrowed 1520s to rural areas, as opposed to… …   Etymology dictionary

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