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[af-ri-kuh] /ˈæf rɪ kə/
a continent S of Europe and between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. About 11,700,000 sq. mi. (30,303,000 sq. km).
2. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for Africa
  • Traces how couscous was taken to different countries from its origins in north Africa.
  • Green in these cases represents the natural richness of Africa.
  • Takes its name from its geographical location on the continent of Africa.
  • It is completely migratory, and travels south in winter as far as subsaharan Africa.
  • His simplicity began by renouncing the western lifestyle he was leading in south Africa.
  • He was then run out for five in the final super six match against south Africa.
  • They are extremely rare in normal words outside southern Africa.
  • The basenji is a breed of hunting dog that originated in central Africa.
  • Blastomycosis is distributed internationally cases are sometimes reported from Africa.
  • Eastwest positioning also was the direction of home, Africa.
British Dictionary definitions for Africa


the second largest of the continents, on the Mediterranean in the north, the Atlantic in the west, and the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean in the east. The Sahara desert divides the continent unequally into North Africa (an early centre of civilization, in close contact with Europe and W Asia, now inhabited chiefly by Arabs) and Africa south of the Sahara (relatively isolated from the rest of the world until the 19th century and inhabited chiefly by Negroid peoples). It was colonized mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries by Europeans and now comprises independent nations. The largest lake is Lake Victoria and the chief rivers are the Nile, Niger, Congo, and Zambezi. Pop: 887 964 000 (2005 est). Area: about 30 300 000 sq km (11 700 000 sq miles)
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
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Word Origin and History for Africa

Latin Africa (terra) "African land, Libya, the Carthaginian territory," fem. of Africus, from Afer "an African." Originally only in reference to the region around modern Tunisia, it gradually was extended to the whole continent. Derivation from Arabic afar "dust, earth" is tempting, but the early date seems to argue against it. The Middle English word was Affrike.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Africa in Culture

Africa definition

The second-largest continent, after Asia; located south of Europe and bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east by the Indian Ocean.

Note: Africa has been the home of great civilizations, particularly in Egypt, along the Mediterranean Sea. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, European nations colonized much of the continent (see colonialism). In the twentieth century, the colonies became independent countries.
Note: Africa south of the Sahara is sometimes called sub-Saharan Africa.
Note: Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit especially hard by HIV/AIDS, drastically decreasing the life expectancy of much of the population.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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