coral atoll in the WC Pacific, near the equator: capital of Kiribati: 9 sq mi (23.3 sq km); pop. 25,000
See Tarawa in American Heritage Dictionary 4
The capital of Kiribati, an island group of the western Pacific Ocean, formerly known as the Gilbert Islands. It was occupied by the Japanese in 1942 and retaken by U.S. Marines after a hard-fought battle in November 1943.