From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Nation \Na"tion\, n. [F. nation, L. natio nation, race, orig., a
   being born, fr. natus, p. p. of nasci, to be born, for
   gnatus, gnasci, from the same root as E. kin. [root]44. See
   Kin kindred, and cf. Cognate, Natal, Native.]
   1. (Ethnol.) A part, or division, of the people of the earth,
      distinguished from the rest by common descent, language,
      or institutions; a race; a stock.
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            All nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.
                                                  --Rev. vii. 9.
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   2. The body of inhabitants of a country, united under an
      independent government of their own.
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            A nation is the unity of a people.    --Coleridge.
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            Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a
            nation.                               --F. S. Key.
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   3. Family; lineage. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
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      (a) One of the divisions of university students in a
          classification according to nativity, formerly common
          in Europe.
      (b) (Scotch Universities) One of the four divisions (named
          from the parts of Scotland) in which students were
          classified according to their nativity.
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   5. A great number; a great deal; -- by way of emphasis; as, a
      nation of herbs. --Sterne.
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   Five nations. See under Five.

   Law of nations. See International law, under
      International, and Law.
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   Syn: people; race. See People.
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