Mauritania[môr′ə tā′nē ə, -tān′yə]
country in NW Africa, on the Atlantic: formerly a French protectorate & colony, it became independent in 1960: 398,000 sq mi (1,030,816 sq km); pop. 1,864,000; cap. Nouakchott
official name Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
- Mauritanian adjective, noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A country of northwest Africa bordering on the Atlantic Ocean. Southern Mauritania was part of the ancient empire of Ghana, and the northern part was settled by Berbers c. 1000. The area later formed part of the Mali Empire (flourished 14th century) and was visited by European traders after the 15th century. French influence over the region lasted from the early 1800s until independence was achieved in 1960. Nouakchott is the capital and the largest city. Population: 3,270,000.
- Mauˌri·taˈni·an adjective & n.