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[kyoo-buh; Spanish koo-vah] /ˈkyu bə; Spanish ˈku vɑ/
a republic in the Caribbean, S of Florida: largest island in the West Indies. 44,218 sq. mi. (114,525 sq. km).
Capital: Havana.
Related forms
Cuban, adjective, noun
pro-Cuban, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cuban
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was the mother of four children, and her husband was at the late cuban war.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • The iron of oppression had entered into the soul of the cuban.

    A Short History of Spain Mary Platt Parmele
  • If the cuban authorities are unable or unwilling, let us take the matter in our own hands.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The little cuban glowered at me; I said I had the honour to salute him.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • He apologized abjectly to the cuban for intruding me upon him.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
British Dictionary definitions for cuban


of or relating to Cuba or its inhabitants
a native or inhabitant of Cuba


a republic and the largest island in the Caribbean, at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico: became a Spanish colony after its discovery by Columbus in 1492; gained independence after the Spanish-American War of 1898 but remained subject to US influence until declared a people's republic under Castro in 1960; subject of an international crisis in 1962, when the US blockaded the island in order to compel the Soviet Union to dismantle its nuclear missile base. Sugar comprises about 80 per cent of total exports; the economy was badly affected by loss of trade following the collapse of the Soviet Union and by the continuing US trade embargo. Language: Spanish. Religion: nonreligious majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Havana. Pop: 11 061 886 (2013 est). Area: 110 922 sq km (42 827 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
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Word Origin and History for cuban


said to be from Taino (Arawakan) Cubanacan, the name of the people who occupied the island. Related: Cuban (1829), Cuban heel (1908); Cuban Missile Crisis (October 16-28, 1962).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cuban in Culture

Cuba definition

Republic consisting of the island of Cuba and other nearby islands. It lies in the Caribbean Sea at the entrance of the Gulf of Mexico. Its capital and largest city is Havana.

Note: The sinking of the United States battleship Maine in Havana harbor led to the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Note: Fidel Castro took control of the Cuban government in 1959. The United States broke off relations with Cuba in 1961, after Castro exhibited strong left-wing leanings, established a system of military justice, and confiscated American investments in banks, industries, and land. Cuba then formed a close attachment to the Soviet Union.
Note: In 1961, under the administration of John F. Kennedy, American-trained Cuban exiles attempted to invade Cuba, landing at the Bay of Pigs, only to be easily defeated by Castro's forces. The Kennedy administration was sharply criticized for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
Note: The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 occurred as a result of a Soviet buildup of medium-range missiles (capable of striking targets in the United States) in Cuba.
Note: In 1980, Cuban refugees began pouring into the United States when Castro allowed free emigration.
Note: The collapse of communism in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union has left Cuba as one of the last communist states.
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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