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[kahy-roh] /ˈkaɪ roʊ/
a city in and the capital of Egypt, in the N part on the E bank of the Nile.


[ee-jipt] /ˈi dʒɪpt/
Arab Republic of. a republic in NE Africa. 386,198 sq. mi. (1,000,252 sq. km).
Capital: Cairo.
Formerly (1958–71) United Arab Republic.
an ancient kingdom in NE Africa: divided into the Nile Delta (Lower Egypt) and the area from Cairo S to the Sudan (Upper Egypt) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Cairo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cairo and Tripoli were also distinguished for their libraries.

  • The "Cape to Cairo" railroad is another case of alliteration.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The mosque of Mehemet Ali, with its tapering minarets, overlooks Cairo, and is itself a very remarkable and beautiful edifice.

    Foot-prints of Travel Maturin M. Ballou
  • The Cape to Cairo railway was actually on the verge of being completed.

    The Arbiter Lady F. E. E. Bell
  • We ate mud, we drank it in our tea, we slept in it, for our wardrobes had been left behind in Cairo.

British Dictionary definitions for Cairo


the capital of Egypt, on the Nile: the largest city in Africa and in the Middle East; industrial centre; site of the university and mosque of Al Azhar (founded in 972). Pop: 11 146 000 (2005 est) Arabic name El Qahira (ɛl ˈkahiːrɔ)
Derived Forms
Cairene, noun, adjective


a republic in NE Africa, on the Mediterranean and Red Sea: its history dates back about 5000 years. Occupied by the British from 1882, it became an independent kingdom in 1922 and a republic in 1953. Over 96 per cent of the total area is desert, with the chief areas of habitation and cultivation in the Nile delta and valley. Cotton is the main export. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim; Sunni majority. Currency: pound. Capital: Cairo. Pop: 85 294 388 (2013 est). Area: 997 739 sq km (385 229 sq miles) Official name Arab Republic of Egypt Former official name (1958–71) United Arab Republic
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
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Word Origin and History for Cairo

city in Egypt, from Arabic al-Kahira "the strong," the name given 973 C.E. to the new city built north of the old one, Egyptian khere-ohe, said to mean "place of combat" and to be in reference to a battle between the gods Seth and Horus that took place here.


Old English Egipte, from French Egypte, from Greek Aigyptos "the river Nile, Egypt," from Amarna Hikuptah, corresponding to Egyptian Ha(t)-ka-ptah "temple of the soul of Ptah," the creative god associated with Memphis, the ancient city of Egypt.

Strictly one of the names of Memphis, it was taken by the Greeks as the name of the whole country. The Egyptian name, Kemet, means "black country," possibly in reference to the rich delta soil. The Arabic is Misr, which is derived from Mizraim, the name of a son of Biblical Ham.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Cairo in Culture
Cairo [(keye-roh)]

The capital of Egypt and largest city in the country; a major port just south of the Nile Delta in the northeast corner of Africa.

Note: Cairo, the historical center of Egyptian power, was the home of the pharaohs. The pyramids and the Sphinx are located nearby in suburban Giza, also known as Al Jizah.

Egypt definition

An ancient empire in Africa that was centered on the Nile River. Ruled by a pharaoh, Egypt figures prominently in many events in the Bible, including the stories of Joseph and his brothers and of Moses and the Exodus. (See under “World Geography.”)

Egypt definition

Officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, a country in northeastern Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Israel and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. The principal geographic feature of the country is the Nile River. Its capital and largest city is Cairo. (See also Alexandria.)

Note: Egypt is the site of one of man's earliest civilizations, which flourished from about 3100 b.c. to 30 b.c., when it became part of the Roman Empire. Many ancient works of art and architecture survive, including the pyramids and the Sphinx.
Note: Egypt was the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel (see Arab-Israeli conflict), a feat accomplished after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat traveled to Israel in 1977 to meet Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Sadat was later assassinated by Muslim extremists.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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