Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Formerly Mal·a·gas·y Republic (mălˌə-găsˈē)Madagascar An island country in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa comprising the island of Madagascar and several small islands. It was originally peopled by Indonesian and African groups around the end of the first century B.C. The French first established settlements on the island in 1642 and made it a colony in 1896. The country gained full independence as the Malagasy Republic in 1960 and was renamed Madagascar in 1975. Antananarivo is the capital and the largest city. Population: 19,400,000.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A country and island of the east coast of Africa with capital Antananarivo. Official name: Republic of Madagascar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa; the 4th largest island in the world
  • n. a republic on the island of Madagascar; achieved independence from France in 1960

Etymologies

From Middle French Madagascar, of uncertain origin, but possibly from Madageiscar, reputedly a corruption of Mogadishu popularized by Marco Polo. (Wiktionary)

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