country on the NW coast of South America: independent since 1830: 109,483 sq mi (283,560 sq km); cap. Quito
A country of northwest South America on the Pacific Ocean. Once part of the Inca Empire, it was conquered by the Spanish in 1534 and later became subject to Peru and New Granada. The area achieved independence from Spain in 1822 but formed a part of Greater Colombia until 1830, when it became a separate country. Quito is the capital and Guayaquil the largest city.
- A country in South America. Official name: Republic of Ecuador.
From Spanish ecuador (“equator”).