Definitions

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

  • A country of western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. A variety of states were established in the region prior to the arrival of Europeans, including the Bornu, Benin, and Songhai empires. Exploited by Portuguese, British, French, and Dutch traders in the 1600s and 1700s, Nigeria was eventually claimed by the British, who consolidated the area into one colony in 1914. The country attained its independence in 1960. In 1991, the seat of government was moved from Lagos to the new capital, Abuja.

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

  • proper noun Country in Western Africa, south of the country of Niger. Official name: Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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

  • noun a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea; gained independence from Britain in 1960; most populous African country

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named after the Niger River, from a native term "Ni Gir" (meaning "River Gir"). The name has often been misinterpreted as derived from the Latin niger ("black"), a reference to the dark complexions of the inhabitants of the region.

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