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[kong-goh] /ˈkɒŋ goʊ/
People's Republic of the, a republic in central Africa, W of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: formerly an overseas territory in French Equatorial Africa; now an independent member of the French Community. 132,046 sq. mi. (341,999 sq. km).
Capital: Brazzaville.
Democratic Republic of the. Formerly Zaire (1971–97)Also called Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also called Belgian Congo (1908–60)Also called Congo Free State (1885–1908)a republic in central Africa: a former Belgian colony; gained independence 1960. 905,568 sq. mi. (2,345,410 sq. km).
Capital: Kinshasa.
Also called Zaire. a river in central Africa, flowing in a great loop from SE Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Atlantic. About 3000 miles (4800 km) long.
Related forms
trans-Congo, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for congo river


Democratic Republic of Congo, a republic in S central Africa, with a narrow strip of land along the Congo estuary leading to the Atlantic in the west: Congo Free State established in 1885, with Leopold II of Belgium as absolute monarch; became the Belgian Congo colony in 1908; gained independence in 1960, followed by civil war and the secession of Katanga (until 1963); President Mobutu Sese Seko seized power in 1965; declared a one-party state in 1978, and was overthrown by rebels in 1997. The country consists chiefly of the Congo basin, with large areas of dense tropical forest and marshes, and the Mitumba highlands reaching over 5000 m (16 000 ft) in the east. Official language: French. Religion: Christian majority, animist minority. Currency: Congolese franc. Capital: Kinshasa. Pop: 75 507 308 (2013 est). Area: 2 344 116 sq km (905 063 sq miles) Former names (1885–1908) Congo Free State, (1908–60) Belgian Congo, (1960–71) Congo-Kinshasa, (1971–97) Zaïre
Republic of Congo, another name for Congo-Brazzaville
the second longest river in Africa, rising as the Lualaba on the Katanga plateau in the Democratic Republic of Congo and flowing in a wide northerly curve to the Atlantic: forms the border between Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Length: about 4800 km (3000 miles). Area of basin: about 3 000 000 sq km (1 425 000 sq miles) Former Zaïrese name (1971–97) Zaïre
a variant spelling of Kongo
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 congo river


African nation, named for the river that runs through it, which is from a Bantu word meaning "mountains" (i.e., the river that flows from the mountains). As an adjective, Congoese is native English (1797) but has been supplanted by Congolese (1900), from French Congolais.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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congo river in Culture

Congo River definition

River of central Africa, flowing through Democratic Republic of Congo to the Atlantic Ocean.

Note: One of the world's longest rivers, it is Africa's largest potential source of electric power.
Note: Explored separately but simultaneously by the missionary David Livingstone and the journalist Henry Stanley, the Congo was the site of their proverbial encounter. (See “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”)
The 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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