Rio de Janeiro

[ree-oh dey zhuh-nair-oh, -neer-oh, juh-, dee, duh; Portuguese ree-oo di zhi-ney-roo]
Also called Ri·o. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rio

Contemporary Examples of rio

Historical Examples of rio

British Dictionary definitions for rio

Rio de Janeiro


  1. a port in SE Brazil, on Guanabara Bay: the country's chief port and its capital from 1763 to 1960; backed by mountains, notably Sugar Loaf Mountain; founded by the French in 1555 and taken by the Portuguese in 1567. Pop: 11 469 000 (2005 est)Related noun: Cariocan
  2. a state of E Brazil. Capital: Rio de Janeiro. Pop: 14 724 475 (2002). Area: 42 911 sq km (16 568 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 rio

"a river," from Spanish rio, from Latin rivus "brook, stream" (see rivulet).

Rio de Janeiro

literally "January River," named by explorer Amerigo Vespucci because he discovered it on Jan. 1, 1502, and so called because he incorrectly thought the bay was the estuary of a large river. See January.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rio in Culture

Rio de Janeiro

[(ree-oh day, dee zhuh-nair-oh)]

City in southeastern Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean. Second-largest city in Brazil, after São Paulo; its former capital; and its financial, commercial, transportation, and cultural center.


Rio is famous as a tourist attraction. Especially popular are its beaches, particularly the Copacabana.


Rio's annual carnival is world-famous.
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.