[in-ter-nash-uh-nl] /ˌɪn tərˈnæʃ ə nl/

between or among nations; involving two or more nations:
international trade.
of or relating to two or more nations or their citizens:
a matter of international concern.
pertaining to the relations between nations:
international law.
having members or activities in several nations:
an international organization.
transcending boundaries or viewpoints:
an international benefit; an international reputation.
(initial capital letter) any of several international socialist or communist organizations formed in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Compare , , , , .
(sometimes initial capital letter) a labor union having locals in two or more countries.
an organization, enterprise, or group, especially a major business concern, having branches, dealings, or members in several countries.
an employee, especially an executive, assigned to work in a foreign country or countries by a business or organization that has branches or dealings in several countries.
of, concerning, or involving two or more nations or nationalities
established by, controlling, or legislating for several nations: an international court, international fishing rights
available for use by all nations: international waters

any of several international socialist organizations See Comintern, First International, Labour and Socialist International, Second International, Socialist International, Trotskyist International, Vienna Union
a member of any of these organizations

1780, apparently coined by Jeremy Bentham from inter- + national. In communist jargon, as a noun and with a capital -i-, it is short for International Working Men’s Association, the first of which was founded in London by Marx in 1864. “The Internationale” (from fem. of French international), the socialist hymn, was written 1871 by Eugène Pottier. International Date Line is from 1910. Related: Internationally.

An international organization of workers founded by Karl Marx in the 1860s. Weakened by disputes, it was dissolved in 1876, but it was succeeded by three later Internationals, which sought to spread communism throughout the world. The most effective of these was the Third International, formed by the Soviet Union in 1919 and dissolved in 1943 by Joseph Stalin.


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