2019 map showing countries with full recognition and some UN non-member states; some disputed territories are not shown

A country is a region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography.

A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state,[1] as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction.[citation needed] There is no hard and fast definition of what regions are countries and which are not.

Countries can refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities,[2] while other times it can refer only to states.[3] For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".[4][Note 1]

Etymology and usage

The word country comes from Old French contrée, which derives from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite"; "(land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite"). It most likely entered the English language after the Franco-Norman invasion during the 11th century.

In English the word has increasingly become associated with political divisions, so that one sense, associated with the indefinite article – "a country" – through misuse and subsequent conflation is now a synonym for state, or a former sovereign state, in the sense of sovereign territory or "district, native land".[5] Areas much smaller than a political state may be called by names such as the West Country in England, the Black Country (a heavily industrialized part of England), "Constable Country" (a part of East Anglia painted by John Constable), the "big country" (used in various contexts of the American West), "coal country" (used of parts of the US and elsewhere) and many other terms.[6]

The equivalent terms in French and other Romance languages (pays and variants) have not carried the process of being identified with political sovereign states as far as the English "country", instead derived from, pagus, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count, a title originally granted by the Roman Church. In many European countries the words are used for sub-divisions of the national territory, as in the German Bundesländer, as well as a less formal term for a sovereign state. France has very many "pays" that are officially recognized at some level, and are either natural regions, like the Pays de Bray, or reflect old political or economic entities, like the Pays de la Loire.

A version of "country" can be found in the modern French language as contrée, based on the word cuntrée in Old French,[6] that is used similarly to the word "pays" to define non-state regions, but can also be used to describe a political state in some particular cases. The modern Italian contrada is a word with its meaning varying locally, but usually meaning a ward or similar small division of a town, or a village or hamlet in the countryside.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Land
العربية: بلد
aragonés: País
অসমীয়া: দেশ
asturianu: País
Aymar aru: Jach'a marka
azərbaycanca: Ölkə
تۆرکجه: اؤلکه
বাংলা: দেশ
Bân-lâm-gú: Kok-ka
башҡортса: Ил
беларуская: Краіна
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Краіна
भोजपुरी: देश
Bislama: Kaontri
български: Страна
brezhoneg: Bro
català: País
Cebuano: Nasod
čeština: Státní území
corsu: Paesi
Cymraeg: Gwlad
dansk: Land
डोटेली: देश
Ελληνικά: Χώρα
español: País
Esperanto: Lando
estremeñu: País
euskara: Herrialde
فارسی: کشور
Fiji Hindi: Des
français: Pays
Frysk: Lân
Gaelg: Çheer
Gàidhlig: Dùthaich
galego: País
ГӀалгӀай: Mохк
贛語: 國家
ગુજરાતી: દેશ
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Koet-kâ
한국어: 나라
Hawaiʻi: Kaumokuʻāina
हिन्दी: देश
Ido: Lando
Ilokano: Pagilian
Bahasa Indonesia: Negara
interlingua: Pais
עברית: ארץ
ქართული: ქვეყანა
қазақша: Ел
Kiswahili: Nchi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Peyi
kurdî: Welat
Кыргызча: Өлкө
Ladino: Paiz
ລາວ: ປະເທດ
لۊری شومالی: ولات
Latina: Pagus
лезги: Уьлкве
lietuvių: Šalis
lingála: Esé
la .lojban.: gugde
magyar: Ország
Malagasy: Firenena
Malti: Pajjiż
मराठी: देश
მარგალური: ქიანა
Bahasa Melayu: Negara (geografi)
Minangkabau: Nagara
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Guók-gă
Mirandés: Paíç
မြန်မာဘာသာ: တိုင်းပြည်
Nederlands: Land (geografie)
नेपाली: देश
नेपाल भाषा: देय्
Norfuk / Pitkern: Kuntrii
norsk nynorsk: Land
occitan: País
олык марий: Эл
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Mamlakat
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਦੇਸ਼
پنجابی: دیس
پښتو: هیواد
Patois: Konchri
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ប្រទេស
Plattdüütsch: Land
português: País
română: Țară
romani čhib: Them
русский: Страна
саха тыла: Дойду
Scots: Kintra
Sesotho: Naha
Sesotho sa Leboa: Naga
සිංහල: රට
Simple English: Country
سنڌي: ملڪ
slovenščina: Dežela
Soomaaliga: Wadan
کوردی: وڵات
Sranantongo: Kondre
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zemlja (geografski pojam)
Sunda: Nagri
suomi: Maa (alue)
svenska: Land
Tagalog: Bansa
தமிழ்: நாடு
татарча/tatarça: Ил
తెలుగు: దేశం
тоҷикӣ: Кишвар
Türkçe: Ülke
удмурт: Шаер
українська: Країна
اردو: ملک
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: دۆلەت
Vahcuengh: Guekgya
Tiếng Việt: Quốc gia
Volapük: Län
Võro: Maa
Winaray: Nasud
吴语: 國家
ייִדיש: לאנד
中文: 国家