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Arabia

[uh-rey-bee-uh]
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noun
  1. a peninsula in SW Asia, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen Arab Republic, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait: divided in ancient times into Arabia Deserta, Arabia Petraea, and Arabia Felix. About 1,000,000 sq. mi. (2,600,000 sq. km).
Also called Arabian Peninsula.
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British Dictionary definitions for arabia

Arabia

noun
  1. a great peninsula of SW Asia, between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf: consists chiefly of a desert plateau, with mountains rising over 3000 m (10 000 ft) in the west and scattered oases; includes the present-day countries of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Area: about 2 600 000 sq km (1 000 000 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arabia

Arabia

1711; see Arab + -ia. The older name for "the country of Arabia" was Araby (late 13c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

arabia in Culture

Arabia

Peninsula in southwest Asia, bordered on the north by Jordan and Iraq, on the east by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the south by the Gulf of Aden, and on the west by the Red Sea. This historical region in the Middle East consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Note

Strategically important because it is situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Arabia has been coveted and controlled by many empires throughout history. The area's importance is all the greater today because of its fabulous oil reserves. The United States and the Soviet Union both competed for influence in Arabia after the British presence ended in the late 1960s. Arabian states joined the coalition against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. (See also Persian Gulf War.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.