[ lib-ee-uh ]

  1. Ancient Geography. the part of N Africa W of Egypt.

  2. Italian Libia. a republic in N Africa between Tunisia and Egypt: formerly a monarchy 1951–69. 679,400 sq. mi. (1,759,646 sq. km). Capital: Tripoli.

Words Nearby Libya Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Libya in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Libya


/ (ˈlɪbɪə) /

  1. a republic in N Africa, on the Mediterranean: became an Italian colony in 1912; divided after World War II into Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (under British administration) and Fezzan (under French); gained independence in 1951; monarchy overthrown by a military junta led by Colonel Gaddafi in 1969; Gaddafi's authoritarian regime overthrown in 2011 following a popular uprising. It consists almost wholly of desert and is a major exporter of oil. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: Libyan dinar. Capital: Tripoli. Pop: 6 002 347 (2013 est). Area: 1 760 000 sq km (680 000 sq miles): Official name: Al-Jumhuria al-Arabia al-Libya ash-Shabiya al-Ishtirakiya al-Uzma

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 Libya


Nation in northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Egypt (see also Egypt) to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. Its capital and largest city is Tripoli.

Notes for Libya

Under the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya pursued a policy of openly supporting and abetting terrorists around the world. This policy made Libya an outcast state with few friends outside the Arab world. Recently, Qaddafi has claimed that he now disavows terrorism.

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.