- an island republic in the Indian Ocean, S of India: a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 25,332 sq. mi. (65,610 sq. km). Capital: Colombo.
- of or relating to Sri Lanka or its inhabitants
- a native or inhabitant of Sri Lanka
- a republic in S Asia, occupying the island of Ceylon: settled by the Sinhalese from S India in about 550 bc; became a British colony 1802; gained independence in 1948, becoming a republic within the Commonwealth in 1972. Exports include tea, cocoa, cinnamon, and copra. Official languages: Sinhalese and Tamil; English is also widely spoken. Religion: Hinayana Buddhist majority. Currency: Sri Lanka rupee. Capital: Colombo (administrative), Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative). Parts of the coast suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Pop: 21 675 648 (2013 est). Area: 65 610 sq km (25 332 sq miles)Official name (since 1978): Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Former name (until 1972): Ceylon
large island southeast of India (known in English until 1972 as Ceylon), from Lanka, older name for the island and its chief city + Sanskrit sri "beauty" (especially of divinities, kings, heroes, etc.), also an honorific prefix to proper names, from PIE root *kreie- "to be outstanding, brilliant, masterly, beautiful" (cf. Greek kreon "lord, master").