country occupying the E part of the island of Hispaniola, in the West Indies: independent since 1844: 18,700 sq mi (48,433 sq km); pop. 5,648,000; cap. Santo Domingo
See Dominican Republic in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A country of the West Indies on the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola. Originally inhabited by Arawaks, it was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and remained a Spanish colony until 1795, when it was ceded to France. Ruled by Haiti after 1821, the country became independent in 1844 but has had a turbulent history, including many years of dictatorship under Rafael Trujillo Molina (1930-1961). Santo Domingo is the capital and the largest city. Population: 9,370,000.