An example could be "the state-level banning of narcotics" to indicate that the government banned it.

What's a word or phrase to emphasise that something is national, and not local? I hope I'm getting across what I mean clearly enough.


I should have clarified that I'm looking for a word that is applicable anywhere, in any country.

  • 1
    What's wrong with 'national-level'? Nationwide? Country-wide? 'State-level' works in countries where the subdivisions aren't called states Sep 21, 2016 at 20:22
  • Would state-level work in, say, the UK? Or does it not make sense.
    – Awn
    Sep 21, 2016 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


I believe the generic term applicable to any country is national:

: of or relating to an entire nation or country

: owned and controlled or operated by a national government



I think the word you are looking for is federal.

Federal laws/courts govern the entire nation, whereas state laws/courts' jurisdiction is limited to the borders of that state.


  • Can federal be used in any country, or just in the US? I'm looking for a word that is applicable anywhere.
    – Awn
    Sep 21, 2016 at 20:30
  • 3
    Federal applies to any context in which the nation is a "federation" of individual states, as with the US. In other contexts statewide or national/nationwide would suffice, I imagine. (National is applicable in the UK.)
    – vidget
    Sep 21, 2016 at 20:36
  • @vidget Quite so. You've got is spot on with regard to the USA which we should remind ourselves is the acronym for the United Sates of America, a federation. Federal applies to the entire entity of the USA, taken as a whole, whereas State level in the US applies to the geographical area of each of the Sates that comprise the Federation. It's rather different in the UK where federation/federal is not the applicable terminology. The Brits see it differently, with National being the equivalent of Federal in the US. The national assemblies of Scotland, Wales and N. Island oversee each member of UK Sep 21, 2016 at 22:34
  • I should add that the three national assembles of each member of the Union (United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland comrising England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) is devolved government that would approximate to the individual states of the USA. It can be devilishly difficult to sort this out vis-a-vis the situation in the US compared to the UK and vice-versa. The respective terminologies for the US & UK are mutually exclusively but are apt to cause confusion when there is an overlap in terminology but NOT meaning. Sep 21, 2016 at 22:52
  • In the case of a federal country (such as the US, Switzerland or Belgium) the word national refers to anything which relates to the whole country, whether or not it is an aspect of the federal government. In other words one can refer to the national rail system of Belgium, the national pride of the US or the national debt of Switzerland. In the same way one can refer to all those aspects of France, which is not federal; or the UK, which is sort of semi-federal, in the same way. The correct word, therefore, is national which is independent of the form of government.
    – BoldBen
    Sep 21, 2016 at 23:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.