If you're a big powerful country and you want to take over a smaller country, or a piece of it, you can simply occupy it with your army, a process known as annexation.

One of history's most famous examples of annexation was the German occupation of parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938, which became one of the causes of World War II. Although the most common use of annexation is in the sense of a political or military takeover of territory, it can also refer to less major acts of acquisition. If you manage to steal your colleague's much-coveted corner office at work, that too is an annexation.

Definitions of annexation

n incorporation by joining or uniting

Type of:
including by incorporating

n the formal act of acquiring something (especially territory) by conquest or occupation

“the French annexation of Madagascar as a colony in 1896”
“a protectorate has frequently been a first step to annexation
Type of:
the act of contracting or assuming or acquiring possession of something

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