Definitions

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

  • A region of southeast Africa on the Indian Ocean. Sighted by Vasco da Gama on Christmas Day 1497 and named Terra Natalis, it was settled by British traders in 1823 and by the Boers after 1836. Annexed by the British to Cape Colony in 1843, Natal became a separate colony after 1856 and a founding province of South Africa in 1910.
  • A city of northeast Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean north of Recife. Founded in the late 1590s, it grew rapidly in World War II as a base for flights connecting with Africa. Population: 778,000.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A seaport and the state capital of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
  • proper n. A former British colony and province of South Africa. It is now called KwaZulu-Natal province.

Etymologies

From Portuguese Natal ("Christmas"), because the region in South Africa was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama on Christmas Day, 1497. (Wiktionary)

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