• synonyms


[sel-uh-beez, suh-lee-beez; Dutch se-ley-bes]
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  1. former name of Sulawesi.
Related formsCel·e·be·sian [sel-uh-bee-zhuh n] /ˌsɛl əˈbi ʒən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for celebes

Historical Examples

  • Early this year a Celebes trader becalmed in a prau was watching him at it.

    'Twixt Land & Sea

    Joseph Conrad

  • They have thrown off the Malay yoke, and plunder as far as Celebes.

  • The species of Celebes equal or even surpass in size those of Amboyna.

    On the Genesis of Species

    St. George Mivart

  • What the past fauna of Celebes may have been is as yet conjectural.

    On the Genesis of Species

    St. George Mivart

  • The two frigates had come round to the northern end of Celebes.

    Owen Hartley; or, Ups and Downs

    William H. G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for celebes


  1. the English name for Sulawesi
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 celebes


old name for modern Sulawesi (which itself might be a native corruption of Celebes) in Indonesia, first used by Portuguese, 1512, perhaps from Os Célebres "the famous ones," a name given by navigators to the dangerous capes on the island's northeast coast.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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