[ ji-brawl-ter ]
/ dʒɪˈbrɔl tər /


a British crown colony comprising a fortress and seaport located on a narrow promontory near the southern tip of Spain. 1.875 sq. mi. (5 sq. km).
Rock of Gibraltar.
  1. Ancient Calpe [kal-pee] /ˈkæl pi/ . a long, precipitous mountain nearly coextensive with this colony: one of the Pillars of Hercules. 1,396 feet (426 meters) high; 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long.
  2. any person or thing that has strength and endurance that can be relied on.
Strait of Gibraltar, a strait between Europe and Africa at the Atlantic entrance to the Mediterranean. 8.5–23 miles (14–37 kilometers) wide.
any impregnable fortress or stronghold.



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Origin of Gibraltar

First recorded in 1570–80; from Arabic jabal ṭāriq “Mountain of Tariq,” named after Tariq ibn Ziyad, who led the Omayyad conquest of Spain beginning in 711


Gi·bral·tar·i·an [ji-brawl-tair-ee-uhn, jib-rawl-], /dʒɪ brɔlˈtɛər i ən, ˌdʒɪb rɔl-/, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for Gibraltar

British Dictionary definitions for Gibraltar

/ (dʒɪˈbrɔːltə) /


City of Gibraltar a city on the Rock of Gibraltar, a limestone promontory at the tip of S Spain: settled by Moors in 711 and taken by Spain in 1462; ceded to Britain in 1713; a British crown colony (1830–1969), still politically associated with Britain; a naval and air base of strategic importance. Pop: 29 111 (2013 est). Area: 6.5 sq km (2.5 sq miles)Ancient name: Calpe
Strait of Gibraltar a narrow strait between the S tip of Spain and the NW tip of Africa, linking the Mediterranean with the Atlantic
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

Cultural definitions for Gibraltar

[ (juh-brawl-tuhr) ]

A colony of Britain on the southern coast of Spain.

notes for Gibraltar

Located on the Rock of Gibraltar, a huge limestone mass.

notes for Gibraltar

Spain has protested British control of Gibraltar, but the dispute has remained unsettled for years.

notes for Gibraltar

Location of an important military base; strategically significant because it can be used to keep ships from entering or leaving the Mediterranean Sea.

notes for Gibraltar

Its seeming impregnability as a fortress during several wars led to the saying: “solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.”
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.