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North African country, named for Algiers, city chosen by the French as its capital when they colonized it in 1830 + Latinate "country" suffix -ia. The city name is Arabic al-Jazair, literally "the islands," in reference to four islands formerly off the coast but joined to the mainland since 1525. A resident of the place formerly was an Algerine (1650s), and the word was practically synonymous with "pirate" in English and U.S. usage early 19c.
Republic in northwest Africa, bordered to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the east by Tunisia and Libya, to the south by Niger and Mali, and to the west by Mauritania and Morocco. Its capital and largest city is Algiers.
Note: Colonized by France in the nineteenth century, Algeria was involved in a long and bloody battle for independence, gaining full autonomy in the early 1960s.