1. Also Trip·o·li·ta·ni·a [trip-uh-li-tey-nee-uh, -teyn-yuh; Italian tree-paw-lee-tah-nyah] /ˌtrɪp ə lɪˈteɪ ni ə, -ˈteɪn yə; Italian ˌtri pɔ liˈtɑ nyɑ/. one of the former Barbary States of N Africa: later a province of Turkey; now a part of Libya.
  2. a seaport in and the capital of Libya, in the NW part.
  3. a seaport in N Lebanon, on the Mediterranean.
  4. (lowercase) any of several siliceous substances, as rottenstone and infusorial earth, used chiefly in polishing.
Related formsTri·pol·i·tan [trih-pol-i-tn] /trɪˈpɒl ɪ tn/, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tripolitania

Historical Examples of tripolitania

British Dictionary definitions for tripolitania


  1. the NW part of Libya: established as a Phoenician colony in the 7th century bc; taken by the Turks in 1551 and became one of the Barbary states; under Italian rule from 1912 until World War II


  1. a lightweight porous siliceous rock derived by weathering and used in a powdered form as a polish, filter, etc

Word Origin for tripoli

C17: named after Tripoli, in Libya or in Lebanon


  1. the capital and chief port of Libya, in the northwest on the Mediterranean: founded by Phoenicians in about the 7th century bc; the only city that has survived of the three (Oea, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha) that formed the African Tripolis ("three cities"); fishing and manufacturing centre. Pop: 1 223 300 (2002 est)Ancient name: Oea (ˈiːə) Arabic name: Tarabulus el Gharb
  2. a port in N Lebanon, on the Mediterranean: the second largest town in Lebanon; taken by the Crusaders in 1109 after a siege of five years; oil-refining and manufacturing centre. Pop: 212 000 (2005 est)Ancient name: Tripolis Arabic name: Tarabulus esh Sham
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 tripolitania


both the Libyan capital and the Lebanese port city represent Greek tri- "three" (see tri-) + polis "town." In Libya, Tripolis was the name of a Phoenician colony consisting of Oea (which grew into modern Tripoli), Leptis Magna, and Sabratha. Arabic distinguishes them as Tarabulus ash-sham ("Syrian Tripoli") and Tarabulus al-garb ("Western Tripoli").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tripolitania in Culture



Capital of Libya and the largest city in the country, located in northwestern Libya.


The city dates back to the seventh century b.c.


United States war planes attacked Tripoli in 1986 in retaliation for Libyan terrorist acts against American citizens.
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.