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Sri Lanka

[sree lahng-kuh, lang-kuh, shree]
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noun
  1. an island republic in the Indian Ocean, S of India: a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 25,332 sq. mi. (65,610 sq. km). Capital: Colombo.
Formerly Ceylon.Arabic Serendip.
Related formsSri Lankan, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for sri lanka

Sri Lanka

noun
  1. a republic in S Asia, occupying the island of Ceylon: settled by the Sinhalese from S India in about 550 bc; became a British colony 1802; gained independence in 1948, becoming a republic within the Commonwealth in 1972. Exports include tea, cocoa, cinnamon, and copra. Official languages: Sinhalese and Tamil; English is also widely spoken. Religion: Hinayana Buddhist majority. Currency: Sri Lanka rupee. Capital: Colombo (administrative), Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative). Parts of the coast suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Pop: 21 675 648 (2013 est). Area: 65 610 sq km (25 332 sq miles)Official name (since 1978): Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Former name (until 1972): Ceylon
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 sri lanka

Sri Lanka

large island southeast of India (known in English until 1972 as Ceylon), from Lanka, older name for the island and its chief city + Sanskrit sri "beauty" (especially of divinities, kings, heroes, etc.), also an honorific prefix to proper names, from PIE root *kreie- "to be outstanding, brilliant, masterly, beautiful" (cf. Greek kreon "lord, master").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

sri lanka in Culture

Sri Lanka

[(sree lahng-kuh)]

Formerly Ceylon, now an island republic in the Indian Ocean just southeast of India.

Note

A British colony since 1796, the island became independent in 1948.

Note

Marked by hostility between its Buddhist Sinhalese majority and Hindu Tamil minority (see Buddhism and Hinduism).
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.