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Riga

[ree-guh]
noun
  1. a seaport in and the capital of Latvia, on the Gulf of Riga.
  2. Gulf of, an arm of the Baltic between Latvia and Estonia. 90 miles (145 km) long.
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Latvia

[lat-vee-uh, laht-]
noun
  1. a republic in N Europe, on the Baltic, S of Estonia, an independent state 1918–40; annexed by the Soviet Union 1940; regained independence 1991. 25,395 sq. mi. (63,700 sq. km). Capital: Riga.
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Latvian Lat·vi·ja [laht-vi-yah] /ˈlɑt vɪˌyɑ/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for riga

Riga

noun
  1. the capital of Latvia, on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Western Dvina on the Baltic Sea: a port and major trading centre since Viking times. Pop: 739 232 (2002 est)
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Latvia

noun
  1. a republic in NE Europe, on the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic Sea: ruled by Poland, Sweden, and Russia since the 13th century, Latvia was independent from 1919 until 1940 and was a Soviet republic (1940–91), gaining its independence after conflict with Soviet forces; it joined the EU in 2004. Latvia is mostly forested. Official language: Latvian. Religion: nonreligious, Christian. Currency: lats. Capital: Riga. Pop: 2 178 443 (2013 est). Area: 63 700 sq km (25 590 sq miles)
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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 riga

Latvia

Baltic nation, independent from 1918, named for its inhabitants, Latvian Latvji, whose ancient name is of unknown origin. In English, the people name was Lett. Parts of the modern state were known previously as Livonia (from Estonian liiv "sand") and Courland (from Curonians, name of a Lettish people, of unknown origin).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

riga in Culture

Latvia

[(lat-vee-uh, laht-vee-uh)]

Republic on the Baltic Sea, bordered by Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, and Lithuania to the south. Its capital and largest city is Riga.

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Note

Nationalist sentiments brewing since the mid-nineteenth century erupted at the time of the Russian Revolution; after the collapse of Russia and Germany in World War I, Latvia was able to proclaim its independence. After twenty years of political instability, however, Latvia was forcibly integrated into the Soviet Union in 1940, along with Estonia and Lithuania. The collapse of the Soviet Union enabled Latvians to reassert their national identity, and they declared their country independent in August 1991.
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.