Jamaica

[juh-mey-kuh]
noun
  1. an island in the West Indies, S of Cuba. 4413 sq. mi. (11,430 sq. km).
  2. a republic coextensive with this island: formerly a British colony; became independent in 1962, retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations. Capital: Kingston.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jamaica

Contemporary Examples of jamaica

Historical Examples of jamaica

  • This revived him, and he offered us his canteen, in which was some excellent Jamaica.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Afterwards his master sought to apprehend him and send him off to Jamaica, for sale.

    Self-Help

    Samuel Smiles

  • The second of the West India islands to construct a railroad was Jamaica.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • You want a ring, the finest gem that can be found on the island of Jamaica.

    Captain Brand of the "Centipede"

    H. A. (Henry Augustus) Wise

  • It was written at Kingston, Jamaica, almost three months ago.

    Keziah Coffin

    Joseph C. Lincoln


British Dictionary definitions for jamaica

Jamaica

noun
  1. an island and state in the Caribbean: colonized by the Spanish from 1494 onwards, large numbers of Black slaves being imported; captured by the British in 1655 and established as a colony in 1866; gained full independence in 1962; a member of the Commonwealth. Exports: chiefly bauxite and alumina, sugar, and bananas. Official language: English. Religion: Protestant majority. Currency: Jamaican dollar. Capital: Kingston. Pop: 2 909 714 (2013 est). Area: 10 992 sq km (4244 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

Word Origin and History for jamaica

Jamaica

West Indian island, from Taino (Arawakan) xaymaca, said to mean "rich in springs." Columbus when he found it in 1494 named it Santiago, but this did not stick. Related: Jamaican. The Jamaica in New York probably is a Delaware (Algonquian) word meaning "beaver pond" altered by influence of the island name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

jamaica in Culture

Jamaica

Nation in the West Indies, situated south of Cuba and west of Haiti, in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital and largest city is Kingston.

Note

It was the leading world sugar producer in the eighteenth century, when a large slave population grew up around sugar plantations.

Note

A British colony from 1865 to 1962, Jamaica then became completely independent.

Note

The country has a high level of poverty.

Note

Tourism is a major industry.
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.