country, n.

Etymology:

Anglo-Norman contrécountrécuntré, Anglo-Norman and Old French cuntree, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French contree, Middle French contrie (French contrée ) region, area of land delimited by natural or political boundaries (c1100; c1050 as cuntretha , cuntrede )

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  1. “Below the great nobles and landowners were the gentry, the locally based ‘country families’…with properties not as great as those of the dukes but large enough to have tenants” (Pool, 46).

Here, “country” means places that are not where the upper-class people lived. Mrs. Bennet is so offended by Darcy’s comment because she thinks that she lives in a wealthier area, since she’s part of the upper-middle class.

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