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[muh-nil-uh] /məˈnɪl ə/
a seaport in and the capital of the Philippines, on W central Luzon.
Abbreviation: Man.
Compare Quezon City.


[loo-zon; Spanish loo-sawn] /luˈzɒn; Spanish luˈsɔn/
the chief island of the Philippines, in the N part of the group. 40,420 sq. mi. (104,688 sq. km).
Capital: Manila.


[fil-uh-peenz, fil-uh-peenz] /ˈfɪl əˌpinz, ˌfɪl əˈpinz/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
an archipelago of 7083 islands in the Pacific, SE of China: formerly (1898–1946) under the guardianship of the U.S.; now an independent republic. 114,830 sq. mi. (297,410 sq. km).
Capital: Manila.
Also called Philippine Islands.
Formerly (1935–46) Commonwealth of the Philippines.
Official name Republic of the Philippines. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Manila


the chief port of the Philippines, on S Luzon on Manila Bay: capital of the republic until 1948 and from 1976; seat of the Far Eastern University and the University of Santo Tomas (1611). Pop: 10 677 000 (2005 est)
a type of cigar made in this city
(often not capital) short for Manila hemp, Manila paper


the main and largest island of the Philippines, in the N part of the archipelago, separated from the other islands by the Sibuyan Sea: important agriculturally, producing most of the country's rice, with large forests and rich mineral resources; industrial centres at Manila and Batangas. Capital: Quezon City. Pop: 39 500 000 (2000). Area: 108 378 sq km (41 845 sq miles)


/ˈfɪlɪˌpiːnz; ˌfɪlɪˈpiːnz/
(functioning as sing) Republic of the Philippines, a republic in SE Asia, occupying an archipelago of about 7100 islands (including Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, and Negros): became a Spanish colony in 1571 but ceded to the US in 1898 after the Spanish-American War; gained independence in 1946. The islands are generally mountainous and volcanic. Official languages: Filipino, based on Tagalog, and English. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Manila. Pop: 105 720 644 (2013 est). Area: 300 076 sq km (115 860 sq miles) related word Filipino
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 Manila

1690s, capital of the Philippines, gave its name (with altered spelling) to manilla hemp (1814), original source of manilla paper (1832). Said to be from Tagalog may "there is" + nila "shrub of the indigo family," but this would not be a native word.


from Spanish Islas Filipinas, literally "the islands of Philip," named for Philip II, king of Spain. Related: Philippine.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Manila in Culture

Philippines definition

Republic in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, comprising over seven thousand islands. Its capital and largest city is Manila.

Note: The Spanish held control of the islands until 1898, when they were transferred to the United States after the Spanish-American War.
Note: Named for Philip II, king of Spain during the sixteenth century.
Note: Occupied by the Japanese during World War II, the islands were liberated by Allied troops under General Douglas MacArthur.
Note: Although Philippine independence had long been an important political issue, the country did not gain full independence until 1946.
Note: The country was under the virtual dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 until 1986, when he was forced into exile in the United States.
Note: It continues to be plagued by allegations of corruption in high places and by a Muslim insurgency.
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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