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Niger

[nahy-jer; French nee-zher]
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noun
  1. a republic in NW Africa: formerly part of French West Africa. 458,976 sq. mi. (1,188,748 sq. km). Capital: Niamey.
  2. a river in W Africa, rising in S Guinea, flowing NE through Mali, and then SE through Nigeria into the Gulf of Guinea. 2600 miles (4185 km) long.
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Related formsNi·ge·ri·en [nahy-jeer-ee-en] /naɪˌdʒɪər iˈɛn/, adjective, nountrans-Ni·ger, adjective
Can be confusedNiger Nigeria
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for niger

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It is now contemplated to extend this system to the upper Niger.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • "The Niger—the immense plains—tell us all about them," he said.

    Fruitfulness

    Emile Zola

  • The Niger, the good giant, the father of us all over yonder!

    Fruitfulness

    Emile Zola

  • This is the Gobius niger met on our coasts, especially in the estuaries of rivers.

  • He had specimens of Lasius niger who exploited a flock of Coleoptera.


British Dictionary definitions for niger

Niger

noun
  1. (niːˈʒɛə, ˈnaɪdʒə) a landlocked republic in West Africa: important since earliest times for its trans-Saharan trade routes; made a French colony in 1922 and became fully independent in 1960; exports peanuts and livestock. Official language: French. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Niamey. Pop: 16 899 327 (2013 est). Area: 1 267 000 sq km (489 000 sq miles)
  2. (ˈnaɪdʒə) a river in West Africa, rising in S Guinea and flowing in a great northward curve through Mali, then southwest through Niger and Nigeria to the Gulf of Guinea: the third longest river in Africa, with the largest delta, covering an area of 36 260 sq km (14 000 sq miles). Length: 4184 km (2600 miles)
  3. (ˈnaɪdʒə) a state of W central Nigeria. Capital: Minna. Pop: 3 950 249 (2006). Area: 76 363 sq km (29 476 sq miles)
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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 niger

Niger

African nation, named for the river Niger, mentioned by that name 1520s (Leo Africanus), probably an alteration (by influence of Latin niger "black") of a local Tuareg name, egereou n-igereouen, from egereou "big river, sea" + n-igereouen, plural of that word. Translated in Arabic as nahr al-anhur "river of rivers."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

niger in Culture

Niger

[(neye-juhr, nee-zhair)]

Republic in western Africa, bordered by Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria to the northwest, Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, and Nigeria and Benin to the south. Niamey is the capital and largest city.

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Note

Niger was under French control from the 1880s to 1960, when it gained full independence.
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.