Definition of micronation

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A definition of micronation endeavors to give an accurate and concise explanation of the basic attributes or essential nature of what defines the term micronation. Evidently by the several differing entries in various dictionaries and sources, the term micronation is heavily disputed. Its definition ranges from anything in between fictional country to unrecognized state.

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias


Collins English Dictionary, published by HarperCollins Publishers, defines micronation as:

An entity, typically existing only on the internet or within the private property of its members, that lays claim to sovereign status as an independent nation, but which is unrecognized by real nations.

The erstwhile Lexico, published by Oxford University Press, gave the following definition:

A small area or political entity that claims national sovereignty but is not recognized by other sovereign states.

Wiktionary, a crowdsourced dictionary hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, gives:

An entity that resembles a nation or a state, but which for the most part exists only on paper, on the Internet, or in the mind of its creator.

Encyclopædia Britannica Online, hosted by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., defines a micronation as an "entity that claims to be an independent state but whose sovereignty is not recognized by the international community." The entry further goes on to say that "micronations vary significantly in form, motivation, purpose, and seriousness. Some micronations claim a territory, usually a piece of personal property or an uninhabitable tract of land [referencing Bir Tawil]. Others exist solely in concept and may possess little more than a Web site. A great number of micronations are tongue-in-cheek […] others exist as a performative expression of libertarianism. Regardless of their purpose, many micronations issue citizenship along with currency, passports, or other official documents—though these documents bear no legal or diplomatic recognition."


As of 2022, Microtionary, published by the Institute of Micropatriological Research, defines micronation as:

A self-proclaimed sovereign state without international recognition that is treated differently to a state with limited recognition; a category of aspirant states that is not regarded as a disputed state, quasi-state or proto-state—often small enough in size to be ignored by its macronation.

In 2009, the erstwhile Micronational Dictionary, hosted by the former Organisation of Active Micronations, gave the following definition:

A political entity intended to replace, resemble, mock or exist on an equal footing with recognised independent states whilst seeking recognition of sovereignty over its claimed territories (if any).

In 2019, the erstwhile MicroWikiDictionary, a crowdsourced dictionary hosted by MicroWiki, gave two definitions of micronation:

1. A self proclaimed sovereign state with no recognition from other major governments, sovereign states, or organisations;
2. An entity that resembles a nation, but which for the most part exists only on the Internet or in the mind of its creator.

Encyclopedia Westarctica defines micronation as "an entity that claims to be an independent nation or state but is not generally recognized by world governments or major international organizations," while the entry for micronation on TalossaWiki gives: "a small group or entity that acts as if it were a nation or a state." The Portuguese-language Wikimicropídia gives two definitions, stating that micronation is "a very broad term used to classify both very small countries, self-proclaimed independent with a certain degree of autonomy or not, but which are not recognized by international organizations, as well as to refer to a simulation of an invented country or reproducing socio-political-cultural conditions of a preexisting territory." The crowdsourced wiki MicroWiki, on which the entry for micronation is a "good article"—a peer-reviewed article determined by MicroWiki's editors as one of the best on the site—simply states that "a micronation is, broadly speaking, a self-proclaimed sovereign state without international recognition that is treated differently to a [macronational] state with limited recognition."




The press

The two most common definitions of micronation found within journalism are: "a self-proclaimed sovereign state that lacks a legal basis for its existence or recognition from a sovereign entity" (which equates micronations with breakaway states and states with limited recognition) and the more lighthearted "a self-proclaimed sovereign state that exists largely or solely on the internet, the mind of its creator or within the private property of its members," that compares micronations with eccentricity or personal entertainment. Concerning articles about micronations or micronationalism, the first definition is held by BBC News, Deutsche Welle, Insider, Quartz, Reuters and the Straits Times, while the latter definition is held by Fox News, The New Zealand Herald, Slate and The Wall Street Journal.