AskDefine | Define international

Dictionary Definition

international adj
1 concerning or belonging to all or at least two or more nations; "international affairs"; "an international agreement"; "international waters" [ant: national]
2 from or between other countries; "external commerce"; "international trade"; "developing nations need outside help" [syn: external, outside(a)] n : any of several international socialist organizations

User Contributed Dictionary

see International



inter- (among, between, amid) + national (having to do with a nation). Reportedly coined in modern English by Jeremy Bentham


  • (UK) /ˌɪntəˈnæʃnəl/, /%Int@"n

Extensive Definition

International or internationally most often describes interaction between nations, or encompassing two or more nations, constituting a group or association having members in two or more nations, or generally reaching beyond national boundaries. In American English, "International" is also commonly used to signify "outside of the country".
Global is commonly used as a synonym for "international", however such usage is typically incorrect as "global" implies "one world" as a single unit, while "international" recognizes that different peoples, cultures, languages, nations, borders, economies, and ecosystems exist. The word nonetheless sees usage as in various media buzzwords, such as "the global economy".
In North American unionised environments, the term "international" is a euphemism for the central union location, which is often in the Washington, D.C. area. An example is the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), whose international office is in Washington, DC, whereas its local offices are spread all over North America. A regional union office that serves as an umbrella organisation for more than one local office, may still be called "international" by its rank and file members.
In team sports, "international" commonly refers either to a match between two national teams, or to a player capped by his national team.
In politics, "The International" — such as, the "First International", the "Second International", or the "Socialist International" — may be short for any league of communist, radical, socialist, or union organizations from multiple countries.
In linguistics, an "international language" is one spoken by the people of at least two nations, but preferably a large number of nations.
In interlinguistics, international often has to do with languages rather than nations themselves. An "international word" is one that occurs in at least two languages, but preferable many more, as with linguistics above. These words are collected from widely spoken source or control languages and often used to establish language systems that people can use to communicate internationally, and sometimes for other purposes such as to learn other languages more quickly. The vocabulary of Interlingua has a particularly wide range, because the control languages of Interlingua were selected to give its words and affixes their maximum geographic scope. In part, the language Ido is also a product of interlinguistic research.



  • Global communication without universal civilization
international in Danish: International
international in German: International
international in Spanish: Internacional
international in French: International
international in Friulian: Internazionâl
international in Korean: 국제
international in Indonesian: Mancanegara
international in Japanese: 国際
international in Simple English: International
international in Finnish: Kansainvälisyys
international in Yiddish: אינטערנאציאנאל
international in Chinese: 国际

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

all-comprehending, all-comprehensive, all-covering, all-embracing, all-encompassing, all-filling, all-including, all-inclusive, all-pervading, allover, catholic, civic, civil, common, communal, cosmopolitan, country-wide, ecumenic, ecumenical, foreign, galactic, general, global, heaven-wide, national, nondenominational, nonsectarian, planetary, public, social, societal, state, supranational, total, universal, world-wide, worldwide
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