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.
Origin of the word
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. The word was adopted in French in 1801. Thomas Erskine Holland noted in his article on Bentham in the eleventh 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
- In team sports, "international" is a match between two national teams, or two players capped by a national team.
- In politics, "The International" might refer to a political international.
- In law, "international" might refer to several disciplines of International law like public international law, international criminal law etc.
- In linguistics, an international language is one spoken by the people of more than one nation, usually by many. Also called world language. English, Spanish, French and Arabic are considered to be world languages.
- In interlinguistics, international often has to do with languages rather than nations themselves. An "international word" is one that occurs in more than one language. These words are collected from widely spoken source or control languages, and often used to establish language systems that people can use to communicate internationally, and at times for additional purposes such as to learn additional languages more quickly. The vocabulary of Interlingua has a particularly wide range, because the control languages of Interlingua were selected to give its words and affixes their maximum geographic scope. In part, the language Ido is additionally a product of interlinguistic research.
- In arts, an international art movement is an art movement with artists from more than one country, usually by many. Some international art movements are Letterist International, Situationist International, Stuckism International.
"International" is additionally at times used as a synonym for "global".