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Sierra Leone

[lee-oh-nee, lee-ohn]
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noun
  1. an independent republic in W Africa: member of the Commonwealth of Nations; formerly a British colony and protectorate. 27,925 sq. mi. (72,326 sq. km). Capital: Freetown.
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Related formsSier·ra Le·o·ne·an [lee-oh-nee-uh n] /liˈoʊ ni ən/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for sierra leone

Sierra Leone

noun
  1. a republic in W Africa, on the Atlantic: became a British colony in 1808 and gained independence (within the Commonwealth) in 1961; declared a republic in 1971; became a one-party state in 1978; multiparty democracy restored in 1991 but military rule was imposed following a coup in 1992, which led to civil unrest; consists of coastal swamps rising to a plateau in the east. Official language: English. Religion: Muslim majority and animist. Currency: leone. Capital: Freetown. Pop: 5 612 685 (2013 est). Area: 71 740 sq km (27 699 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 sierra leone

Sierra Leone

West African nation, literally "lion mountains," from Spanish sierra "mountain range" (see sierra) + leon "lion" (see lion). Attested from mid-15c. in Portuguese explorers' accounts, and a very early explanation of the name derives it from the "roaring" of thunder in the mountains. Related: Sierra Leonean.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sierra leone in Culture

Sierra Leone

[(see-er-uh lee-ohn, lee-oh-nee)]

Republic in western Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Guinea to the north and east, and Liberia to the south. Freetown is its capital and largest city.

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Note

After the American Revolutionary War, attempts were made to settle freed slaves in Sierra Leone. Formerly a British protectorate, Sierra Leone became independent in 1961.
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.