International

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For other uses, see International (disambiguation).

International mostly means something (a company, language, or organization) involving more than a single country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries. For example, international law, which is applied by more than one country and usually everywhere on Earth, and international language which is a language spoken by residents of more than one country.

In American English, "International" is also commonly used as a euphemism for "foreign" or even "foreigner."[1][2]

Origin of the word[edit]

The term international was coined by the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham in his Introduction to Principles of Morals and Legislation, which was printed for publication in 1780 and published in 1789. Bentham wrote: "The word international, it must be acknowledged, is a new one; though, it is hoped, sufficiently analogous and intelligible. It is calculated to express, in a more significant way, the branch of law which goes commonly under the name of the law of nations.[3] The word was adopted in French in 1801.[4] Thomas Erskine Holland noted in his article on Bentham in the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica that "Many of Bentham's phrases, such as 'international,' 'utilitarian,' 'codification,' are valuable additions to our language; but the majority of them, especially those of Greek derivation, have taken no root in it."

Meaning in particular fields[edit]

"International" is also sometimes used as a synonym for "global".

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