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Benin

[be-neen]
noun
  1. Formerly Dahomey. a republic in W Africa: formerly part of French West Africa; gained independence in 1960. 44,290 sq. mi. (114,711 sq. km). Capital: Porto Novo.
  2. Bight of, a bay in N Gulf of Guinea in W Africa.
  3. a former native kingdom in W Africa: now incorporated into Nigeria.
  4. a river in S Nigeria, flowing into the Bight of Benin.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for benin

Benin

noun
  1. a republic in W Africa, on the Bight of Benin, a section of the Gulf of Guinea: in the early 19th century a powerful kingdom, famed for its women warriors; became a French colony in 1893, gaining independence in 1960. It consists chiefly of coastal lagoons and swamps in the south, a fertile plain and marshes in the centre, and the Atakora Mountains in the northwest. Official language: French. Religion: animist majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Porto Novo (the government is based in Cotonou). Pop: 9 877 292 (2013 est). Area: 112 622 sq km (43 474 sq miles)Former name (until 1975): Dahomey
  2. a former kingdom of W Africa, powerful from the 14th to the 17th centuries: now a province of S Nigeria: noted for its bronzes
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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 benin

Benin

former West African kingdom, from the Bini people, whose name is perhaps related to Arabic bani "sons." Though now the people is associated with Nigeria, the name was taken 1974 by the former nation of Dahomey.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper