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southern coastal estado (state) of Brazil, bounded to the north by the state of Parana, to the south by the state of Rio Grande do Sul, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by Misiones province of Argentina. It is one of the smaller Brazilian states. The capital is Florianopolis, located on coastal Santa Catarina Island. The region was given various names by early Spanish and Portuguese cartographers; the name Santa Catarina is said to have been given in honour of St. Catherine of Alexandria by the Italian navigator Sebastian Cabot, when he was in the service of Spain.