If your dog barks whenever someone walks through your yard, it might be because she's territorial, or inclined to protect her territory from trespassers.

A person — or an animal — who guards or defends the area she considers to belong to her is territorial. You can also use the adjective to describe anything relating to the territory itself. For example, territorial boundaries are invisible lines that mark the division between one country, or territory, and another. The Latin root, territorium, "land around a town," comes from terra, "earth or land."

Definitions of territorial

adj of or relating to a territory

“the territorial government of the Virgin Islands”
territorial claims made by a country”

adj belonging to the territory of any state or ruler

territorial rights”
restricted to the geographic area under a particular jurisdiction
related or limited to a particular region
related or limited to a distinct region or subdivision of a territory or community or group of people
exterritorial, extraterritorial
outside territorial limits or jurisdiction

adj displaying territoriality; defending a territory from intruders

territorial behavior”
“strongly territorial birds”
not displaying territoriality

n nonprofessional soldier member of a territorial military unit

Type of:
an enlisted man or woman who serves in an army

n a territorial military unit

territorial reserve
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National Guard, home reserve
United States military reserves recruited by the states and equipped by the federal government; subject to call by either
Territorial Army
British unit of nonprofessional soldiers organized for the defense of Great Britain
ANG, Air National Guard
a civilian reserve component of the United States Air Force that provides prompt mobilization during war and assistance during national emergencies
ARNG, Army National Guard
a civilian reserve component of the United States Army comprised of guardsmen who serve during overseas peacekeeping missions and during local emergencies
Type of:
a military unit serving to protect some place or person

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