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[huh-van-uh] /həˈvæn ə/
Spanish Habana. a seaport in and the capital of Cuba, on the NW coast.
a cigar made in Cuba or of Cuban tobacco.


[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 Havana
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Connecticut supplies all summer resorts with the finest Havana segars.

  • It is strictly a Spanish idea, which the author has often seen in Havana.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • Or you can take a trip with me to Havana till it blows over.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • He has climbed very high; he is a judge of the Marine Court at Havana.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • The very best people in Havana are interested in the matter.

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


the capital of Cuba, a port in the northwest on the Gulf of Mexico: the largest city in the Caribbean; founded in 1514 as San Cristóbal de la Habana by Diego Velásquez. Pop: 2 192 000 (2005 est) Spanish name Habana, related adjective Habanero


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 Havana

Cuban capital city, founded 1514 by Diego Velázquez as San Cristóbal de la Habana "St. Christopher of the Habana," apparently the name of a local native people. The Spanish adjective form is Habanero. Meaning "cigar made in Havana" is by 1802.


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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Havana in Culture

Havana definition

Capital of Cuba and largest city in the country, located in western Cuba; the largest city and chief port of the West Indies and one of the oldest cities in the Americas.

Note: The sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 led to the Spanish-American War.

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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