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[yoo r-uh-gwey, -gwahy; Spanish oo-roo-gwahy] /ˈyʊər əˌgweɪ, -ˌgwaɪ; Spanish ˌu ruˈgwaɪ/
a republic in SE South America. 72,172 sq. mi. (186,925 sq. km).
Capital: Montevideo.
a river in SE South America, flowing from S Brazil along the boundary of E Argentina into the Río de la Plata. 981 miles (1580 km) long.
Related forms
[yoo r-uh-gwey-uh n, -gwahy-uh n] /ˌyʊər əˈgweɪ ən, -ˈgwaɪ ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
pro-Uruguayan, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Uruguay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The principal roads of Uruguay were built between 1865 and 1875.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • Perhaps Uruguay, though the smallest of all the states, should be placed after Argentina.

  • East of the Uruguay, between it and the Atlantic, is the republic of Uruguay.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • Thence he had passed into Uruguay, and become a teacher of mathematics in Montevideo.

    Admiral Farragut A. T. Mahan
  • Garibaldi, services in war between Argentine and Uruguay, 93.

    Admiral Farragut A. T. Mahan
British Dictionary definitions for Uruguay


a republic in South America, on the Atlantic: Spanish colonization began in 1624, followed by Portuguese settlement in 1680; revolted against Spanish rule in 1820 but was annexed by the Portuguese to Brazil; gained independence in 1825. It consists mainly of rolling grassy plains, low hills, and plateaus. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: peso. Capital: Montevideo. Pop: 3 324 460 (2013 est). Area: 176 215 sq km (68 037 sq miles)
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 Uruguay

country named for river that flows past it, which is from a native name in an extinct language, said to represent uru "bird" + guay "tail," perhaps a reference to some totemic animal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Uruguay in Culture
Uruguay [(yoor-uh-gweye, yoor-uh-gway, oor-uh-gweye)]

Republic on the east coast of South America, tucked between Brazil to the north and east and Argentina to the west. The capital and largest city is Montevideo.

Note: Uruguay was under a repressive and violent military government from 1973 to 1985.
Note: It is a major producer of beef, leather, and wool.
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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