An island country in the Gulf of Guinea off western Africa. Probably uninhabited at the time of European discovery in 1471, the islands were settled (1483) by the Portuguese, who held them, except for a period of Dutch rule in the 1600s, until they gained full independence in 1975. São Tomé is the capital.
Country off the W coast of Africa, comprising two islands (São Tomé & Príncipe) & several islets in the Gulf of Guinea: formerly a Portuguese territory, it became independent 1975: 386 sq mi (1,001 sq km); cap. São Tomé
Alternative spelling of SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe.