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a nation lying between potentially hostile larger nations.
Historical Examples

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 6 Various
Somehow Good William de Morgan
The Coming Conquest of England August Niemann
In the Border Country W. S. (William Shillinglaw) Crockett
The Life of Napoleon I (Volumes, 1 and 2) John Holland Rose

a small neutral state between two rival powers


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    a neutral zone or area between two potentially hostile nations, designed to prevent any overt acts of aggression. any area serving to mitigate or neutralize potential conflict. noun an area lying between two states and providing each with protection from the other

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