Definitions

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

  • A country of southwest Asia. Site of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, the region later fell to the Persians (6th century BC), Greeks (4th century BC), Arabs (7th century), and Ottoman Turks (16th century). Iraq became a kingdom under a British mandate in 1921, achieved independence in 1932, and became a republic in 1958. The Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein invaded Iran (1980), triggering an eight-year war, and occupied Kuwait (1990) until forced to withdraw in the Gulf War. In the Iraq War, a US-led coalition overthrew Hussein (2003) and established a new government. Baghdad is the capital and largest city.

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

  • proper noun Country in Mesopotamia that borders on Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. Official name: Republic of Iraq.

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

  • noun a republic in the Middle East in western Asia; the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was in the area now known as Iraq

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly from Sumerian “Uruk” or “Warka” (Biblical “Erech”) region in the south of ancient Iraq. Medieval Arabic uses ‘Iraq’ as a geographical term for the area in the south and center of the modern Iraq. Some Arabic sources say that Iraq comes from عريق (ʕaríːq, "deep-rooted"), from عرق (ʕirq, "root"), while others say it is from Middle Persian's erāq ("lowlands"), due to historic rule from Iraq's plateau-situated neighbor, Persia.

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