[pawr-toh noh-voh, pohr-]
- a seaport in and the capital of Benin.
- Formerly Dahomey. a republic in W Africa: formerly part of French West Africa; gained independence in 1960. 44,290 sq. mi. (114,711 sq. km). Capital: Porto Novo.
- Bight of, a bay in N Gulf of Guinea in W Africa.
- a former native kingdom in W Africa: now incorporated into Nigeria.
- a river in S Nigeria, flowing into the Bight of Benin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the capital of Benin, in the southwest on a coastal lagoon: formerly a centre of Portuguese settlement and the slave trade. Pop: 253 000 (2005 est)
- a republic in W Africa, on the Bight of Benin, a section of the Gulf of Guinea: in the early 19th century a powerful kingdom, famed for its women warriors; became a French colony in 1893, gaining independence in 1960. It consists chiefly of coastal lagoons and swamps in the south, a fertile plain and marshes in the centre, and the Atakora Mountains in the northwest. Official language: French. Religion: animist majority. Currency: franc. Capital: Porto Novo (the government is based in Cotonou). Pop: 9 877 292 (2013 est). Area: 112 622 sq km (43 474 sq miles)Former name (until 1975): Dahomey
- a former kingdom of W Africa, powerful from the 14th to the 17th centuries: now a province of S Nigeria: noted for its bronzes
Word Origin and History for porto novo
former West African kingdom, from the Bini people, whose name is perhaps related to Arabic bani "sons." Though now the people is associated with Nigeria, the name was taken 1974 by the former nation of Dahomey.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper