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  1. a word used in communications to represent the letter L.

Origin of Lima1

First recorded in 1950–55


[lee-muh or, Spanish, lee-mah for 1; lahy-muh for 2]
  1. a city in and the capital of Peru, near the Pacific coast.
  2. a city in NW Ohio.


  1. Spanish Pe·rú [pe-roo] /pɛˈru/. a republic in W South America. 496,222 sq. mi. (1,285,215 sq. km). Capital: Lima.
  2. a city in N central Indiana.
  3. a city in N Illinois.
Related formsPe·ru·vi·an [puh-roo-vee-uh n] /pəˈru vi ən/, adjective, nounnon-Pe·ru·vi·an, adjective, nounpro-Pe·ru·vi·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for lima


  1. the capital of Peru, near the Pacific coast on the Rímac River: the centre of Spanish colonization in South America; university founded in 1551 (the oldest in South America); an industrial centre with a port at nearby Callao. Pop: 8 180 000 (2005 est)
  2. communications a code word for the letter L


  1. a republic in W South America, on the Pacific: the centre of the great Inca Empire when conquered by the Spanish in 1532; gained independence in 1824 by defeating Spanish forces with armies led by San Martín and Bolívar; consists of a coastal desert, rising to the Andes; an important exporter of minerals and a major fishing nation. Official languages: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara. Official religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: nuevo sol. Capital: Lima. Pop: 29 849 303 (2013 est). Area: 1 285 215 sq km (496 222 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

Word Origin and History for lima


Peruvian capital, founded 1535 by Pizarro, from Spanish corruption of Quechua (Inca) Rimak, name of a god and his temple, from rima "to speak" (perhaps a reference to priests who spoke from concealed places in statues of the gods).


from Spanish Peru, said to be from Quechua pelu "river." Related: Peruvian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lima in Culture



Capital of Peru and largest city in the country, located in western Peru; the country's economic center.


Lima was the capital of the empire of Spain in the New World until the nineteenth century.


Republic in western South America, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Ecuador to the northwest, Colombia to the northeast, Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. Its capital and largest city is Lima.


Achieved independence from Spain in 1821.


Peru was the heart of the Inca Empire, which flourished from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. The remains of the empire include the fabled stone fortress of Machu Picchu.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.