[ kuh-ree-uh, kaw-, koh- ]


  1. a former country in East Asia, on a peninsula southeast of Manchuria and between the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea: a kingdom prior to 1910; under Japanese rule 1910–45; now divided at the 38th parallel into North Korea and South Korea.
  2. Dem·o·crat·ic Peo·ple's Re·pub·lic of Ko·re·a, official name of North Korea.
  3. Re·pub·lic of Ko·re·a, official name of South Korea.


/ kəˈriːə /


  1. a former country in E Asia, now divided into two separate countries, North Korea and South Korea. Korea occupied the peninsula between the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and the Yellow Sea: an isolated vassal of Manchu China for three centuries until the opening of ports to Japanese trade in 1876; gained independence in 1895; annexed to Japan in 1910 and divided in 1945 into two occupation zones (Russian in the north, American in the south), which became North Korea and South Korea in 1948 Japanese name (1910–45)Chosen See North Korea South Korea
“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


  1. Historic region consisting of North Korea and South Korea ; peninsula off northeastern China separating the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan, two arms of the Pacific Ocean .

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Korea was under Japanese rule in the early twentieth century. At the end of World War II , Korea was divided at the thirty-eighth parallel of north latitude into two zones, with troops of the Soviet Union in the north and troops of the United States in the south. By 1948, two separate governments had emerged, the communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north and the noncommunist Republic of Korea in the south. American and Soviet troops were withdrawn by 1949. The Korean War (1950–1953) began when North Korean forces invaded South Korea. Forces of the United Nations under General Douglas MacArthur aided South Korea, whereas Chinese forces aided North Korea.
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Word History and Origins

Origin of Korea1

First recorded in 1610–20; from Korean Goryeo, Koryŏ
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Example Sentences

UNCOVER claims to be building the continent’s most trusted skincare brand and content platform by partnering with top skincare labs in Korea.

Lee, in our expectation, is going to be a big part of that, not just as an ambassador for the NBA, but for his own country and building up the game in Korea.

From Ozy

Just last week, a study from Korea reported on a case of coronavirus transmission documented indoors after just five minutes of exposure without any direct contact—from 20 feet away.

From Fortune

Some countries like Brazil and Korea give access to the 6 GHz band, but other countries have been slower to open it up.

A study from Korea showing why indoor dining is unsafe and why airborne transmission matters.

From Eater

The new information consisted of Internet protocol addresses that Comey said are “exclusively used” by North Korea.

Current and former intelligence officials have said North Korea has long been a priority target for American spies.

Instead, it appears that the Obama administration has opted to punish North Korea financially.

American intervention in Korea has frequently sparked protests, especially over film.

An examination of the complicated history of America and its movies in the Republic of Korea.

Recent events have done much to introduce Korea and its people to the world at large.

In some parts of Korea the houses were built of stout timbers, the chinks covered with woven cane and plastered with mud.

Yung Pak's earliest days were spent very much as are those of most babies, whether they live in Korea or America.

In former years, Korea had paid an annual tribute or tax to China, but for some time it had been held back by this king.

This gift of rice was especially pleasing to the traveller, as no dish is held in higher honour in Korea.