Definitions for madagascarˌmæd əˈgæs kər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word madagascar

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Madagascar, Republic of Madagascar, Malagasy Republic(noun)

    a republic on the island of Madagascar; achieved independence from France in 1960

  2. Madagascar(noun)

    an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa; the 4th largest island in the world


  1. Madagascar(prop. n.)

    An island in the Indian Ocean, about 240 miles off the southeast coast of Africa, governed as a single country, the Republic of Madagascar. It is the world's fourth-largest island, with a total area of 587,040 sq km, with 4,828 km of coastline. Once a French colony, it gained independence from France in 1960. The name of the government after independence was the Malagasy Republic.


  1. Madagascar(ProperNoun)

    A country and island of the east coast of Africa with capital Antananarivo. Official name: Republic of Madagascar.

  2. Origin: From Madagascar, of uncertain origin, but possibly from Madageiscar, reputedly a corruption of popularized by Marco Polo.


  1. Madagascar

    Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population. Initial human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BCE and 550 CE by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. These were joined around 1000 CE by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into eighteen or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Madagascar

    largest island in the world but two, in the Indian Ocean, 300 m. off the Mozambique coast, SE. Africa; is nearly three times the size of Great Britain, a plateau in the centre, with low, fertile, wooded ground round about; has many extinct volcanoes and active hot springs; the highest peak is Ankàratra (9000 ft.), in the centre; the NW. coast has some good harbours; there are 300 m. of lagoons on the E.; the biggest lake is Alaotra, and the rivers flow mostly W.; the climate is hot, with copious rains, except in the S.; rice, coffee, sugar, and vanilla are cultivated; many kinds of valuable timber grow in the forests, and these, with cattle, hides, and india-rubber, constitute the exports; gold, iron, copper, lead, and sulphur are found, and the natives are skilled in working metals; the Malagasys possess civilised institutions; slavery was abolished in 1879; a quarter of the population is Christian; the heathen section, though untruthful and immoral, are affectionate, courageous, and loyal; Antanànarìvo (100), the capital, is situated in the interior, and has many fine buildings; chief ports, Tamatave on the E. and Majunga on the NW. coasts; the island has been under French protection since 1890, and is a French colony since 1896.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Madagascar

    One of the Indian Ocean Islands off the southeast coast of Africa. Its capital is Antananarivo. It was formerly called the Malagasy Republic. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1500, its history has been tied predominantly to the French, becoming a French protectorate in 1882, a French colony in 1896, and a territory within the French union in 1946. The Malagasy Republic was established in the French Community in 1958 but it achieved independence in 1960. Its name was changed to Madagascar in 1975. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p714)

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