Definitions for vanuatuˌvɑ nuˈɑ tu
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Vanuatu, Republic of Vanuatu, New Hebrides(noun)
a volcanic island republic in Melanesia; independent since 1980
A country in Oceania. Official name: Republic of Vanuatu.
Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres east of northern Australia, 500 kilometres northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea. Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were the members of a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived in Espiritu Santo in 1605; he claimed the archipelago for Spain and named it Espiritu Santo or Holy Spirit. In the 1880s France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the country, and in 1906 they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through a British–French Condominium. An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. The nation's name was derived from the word vanua, which occurs in several Austronesian languages, and the word tu. Together the two words indicated the independent status of the new nation.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A republic consisting of an island group in Melanesia, in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Its capital is Port-Vila. It was called New Hebrides until 1980. It was discovered in 1606 by the Portuguese, forgotten for 160 years, then visited by Bougainville in 1768 and Captain Cook in 1774. It was under joint British and French administration from 1906 until it became independent in 1980 under the name of Vanuatu. The name is native, meaning our land. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p833 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p570)
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