[zah-eer, zah-eer]

noun, plural za·ire.

a paper money and monetary unit of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, equal to 100 makuta.


or Za·ïre

[zah-eer, zah-eer]


Republic of, a former name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
official name within the Democratic Republic of the Congo of the Congo River (the term Congo River is more widely used elsewhere). Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zaire

Contemporary Examples of zaire

Historical Examples of zaire

  • I came out at the "Franais" as Zaire; my success was a triumph!

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • He went down stream the next morning, the Zaire overcrowded with Houssas.


    Edgar Wallace

  • "You shall find other counsellors, B'sano," said Hamilton, as the men were led to the Zaire.


    Edgar Wallace

  • And by the shores of the river Zaire there is neither quiet nor silence.

  • The Zaire had struck a sandbank, and was stranded high, if not dry.

British Dictionary definitions for zaire



the former name (1971–97) of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(formerly) the Zaïrian name (1971–97) for the (River) Congo (def. 3)
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 zaire


African nation (1971-1997), from an early alternative name of the Congo River, from Kikongo nzai, dialectal form of nzadi "river."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zaire in Culture



See Democratic Republic of Congo.

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.