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[trip-uh-lee] /ˈtrɪp ə li/
Also, Tripolitania
[trip-uh-li-tey-nee-uh, -teyn-yuh; Italian tree-paw-lee-tah-nyah] /ˌtrɪp ə lɪˈteɪ ni ə, -ˈteɪn yə; Italian ˌtri pɔ liˈtɑ nyɑ/ (Show IPA)
. one of the former Barbary States of N Africa: later a province of Turkey; now a part of Libya.
a seaport in and the capital of Libya, in the NW part.
a seaport in N Lebanon, on the Mediterranean.
(lowercase) any of several siliceous substances, as rottenstone and infusorial earth, used chiefly in polishing.
Related forms
[trih-pol-i-tn] /trɪˈpɒl ɪ tn/ (Show IPA),
noun, adjective


[lib-ee-uh] /ˈlɪb i ə/
Ancient Geography. the part of N Africa W of Egypt.
Italian Libia. a republic in N Africa between Tunisia and Egypt: formerly a monarchy 1951–69. 679,400 sq. mi. (1,759,646 sq. km).
Capital: Tripoli. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Tripoli


a lightweight porous siliceous rock derived by weathering and used in a powdered form as a polish, filter, etc
Word Origin
C17: named after Tripoli, in Libya or in Lebanon


the capital and chief port of Libya, in the northwest on the Mediterranean: founded by Phoenicians in about the 7th century bc; the only city that has survived of the three (Oea, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha) that formed the African Tripolis ("three cities"); fishing and manufacturing centre. Pop: 1 223 300 (2002 est) Ancient name Oea (ˈiːə) Arabic name Tarabulus el Gharb
a port in N Lebanon, on the Mediterranean: the second largest town in Lebanon; taken by the Crusaders in 1109 after a siege of five years; oil-refining and manufacturing centre. Pop: 212 000 (2005 est) Ancient name Tripolis Arabic name Tarabulus esh Sham


a republic in N Africa, on the Mediterranean: became an Italian colony in 1912; divided after World War II into Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (under British administration) and Fezzan (under French); gained independence in 1951; monarchy overthrown by a military junta led by Colonel Gaddafi in 1969; Gaddafi's authoritarian regime overthrown in 2011 following a popular uprising. It consists almost wholly of desert and is a major exporter of oil. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: Libyan dinar. Capital: Tripoli. Pop: 6 002 347 (2013 est). Area: 1 760 000 sq km (680 000 sq miles) Official name Al-Jumhuria al-Arabia al-Libya ash-Shabiya al-Ishtirakiya al-Uzma
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 Tripoli

both the Libyan capital and the Lebanese port city represent Greek tri- "three" (see tri-) + polis "town." In Libya, Tripolis was the name of a Phoenician colony consisting of Oea (which grew into modern Tripoli), Leptis Magna, and Sabratha. Arabic distinguishes them as Tarabulus ash-sham ("Syrian Tripoli") and Tarabulus al-garb ("Western Tripoli").


north African nation, an ancient name, attested in heiroglyphics from 2000 B.C.E., of unknown origin. In Greek use, sometimes meaning all of Africa. Related: Libyan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Tripoli in Culture
Tripoli [(trip-uh-lee)]

Capital of Libya and the largest city in the country, located in northwestern Libya.

Note: The city dates back to the seventh century b.c.
Note: United States war planes attacked Tripoli in 1986 in retaliation for Libyan terrorist acts against American citizens.

Libya definition

Nation in northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. Its capital and largest city is Tripoli.

Note: Under the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya pursued a policy of openly supporting and abetting terrorists around the world. This policy made Libya an outcast state with few friends outside the Arab world. Recently, Qaddafi has claimed that he now disavows terrorism.
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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