1. Formerly Abyssinia. a republic in E Africa: formerly a monarchy. 409,266 sq. mi. (1,060,000 sq. km). Present boundaries include Eritrea. Capital: Addis Ababa.
  2. Also called Abyssinia. an ancient region in NE Africa, bordering on Egypt and the Red Sea. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ethiopia

Contemporary Examples of ethiopia

Historical Examples of ethiopia

  • We had turned our backs upon medieval Cairo, and our faces toward Ethiopia.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • In Ethiopia engraved stones are employed, of which a Lacedaemonian could make no use.


    An Imitator of Plato

  • Her mother was queen of Ethiopia, she said, and very, very beautiful.

  • They were six in number, evil-eyed men of Ethiopia, and seated in a circle.

    The World's Desire

    H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang

  • He was now returning from Ethiopia with a wealth of treasures.

British Dictionary definitions for ethiopia


  1. a state in NE Africa, on the Red Sea: consolidated as an empire under Menelik II (1889–1913); federated with Eritrea from 1952 until 1993; Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by the military in 1974 and the monarchy was abolished in 1975; an independence movement in Eritrea was engaged in war with the government from 1961 until 1993. It lies along the Great Rift Valley and consists of deserts in the southeast and northeast and a high central plateau with many rivers (including the Blue Nile) and mountains rising over 4500 m (15 000 ft); the main export is coffee. Language: Amharic. Religion: Christian majority. Currency: birr. Capital: Addis Ababa. Pop: 93 877 025 (2013 est). Area: 1 128 215 sq km (435 614 sq miles)Former name: Abyssinia
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 ethiopia


Latin Aethiopia, from Greek Aithiopia, from Aithiops (see Ethiop). The native name is Abyssinia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ethiopia in Culture


Country in northeastern Africa bordered by Eritrea to the northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and Sudan to the west. Formerly called Abyssinia. Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.


Ethiopia is Black Africa's oldest state, tracing its history back more than two thousand years.


Of all African nations, it most successfully withstood European attempts at colonization, remaining independent throughout its history, with the exception of a six-year period (1935–1941) during which it was occupied by Italy, which was then governed by fascists (see fascism).


Ethiopia is one of the world's oldest Christian nations, having been converted in the fourth century.


Ethiopia was ruled from 1930 to 1936 and again from 1941 to 1974 by the powerful and charismatic Emperor Haile Selassie I (born Ras Tafari Makonnen). Called the “Lion of Judah,” he claimed direct descent from the biblical King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.


Selassie was overthrown by a military junta, which proclaimed a communist government and became closely allied with the Soviet Union.


The junta was overthrown in 1991 and the first multiparty elections were held in 1995.


The country was plagued by famine and economic chaos in the 1980s and 1990s.
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.