Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
A body of persons within a particular territory having their own distinctive government. Originally a nation implied ethnic unity and a certain cultural or even religious identity, but many nations are now more properly states than nations. They are politically autonomous while having a variety of racial, cultural, and religious groups under the same civil authority.