from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A country of west-central Africa. The Tuareg and Hausa established states in the late Middle Ages, and the region was dominated by the Songhai and Bornu empires in the 1500s. Niger came under the French sphere of influence after the Conference of Berlin (1884–1885) and was made a separate colony within French West Africa in 1922. It achieved independence in 1960. Niamey is the capital and the largest city.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete spelling of nigger.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun A country in Western Africa situated to the north of Nigeria. Official name: Republic of Niger.
  • proper noun A river in Africa that flows into the Gulf of Guinea in Nigeria.

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

  • noun an African river; flows into the South Atlantic
  • noun a landlocked republic in West Africa; gained independence from France in 1960; most of the country is dominated by the Sahara Desert


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Frequently misidentified as derived from the Latin niger ("black"), Niger is derived from a series of mistranslations and geographic misplacements by Greek, Roman and Arab geographers, likely originally from Ptolomey's descriptions of the valley Gir (a wadi in modern Algeria), and the "Lower Gir" (or "Ni-Gir") to the south. In one local Berber language, "gher" means "watercourse", and thus may have been derived from Berber tales of large river south of the Sahara desert.


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