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Formerly Hayti. a republic in the West Indies occupying the W part of the island of Hispaniola. 10,714 sq. mi. (27,750 sq. km). Capital: Port-au-Prince.
Also, Hayti. a former name of Hispaniola.
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World English Dictionary
Haiti (ˈheɪtɪ, hɑːˈiːtɪ)
1.  a republic occupying the W part of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, the E part consisting of the Dominican Republic: ceded by Spain to France in 1697 and became one of the richest colonial possessions in the world, with numerous plantations; slaves rebelled under Toussaint L'Ouverture in 1793 and defeated the French; taken over by the US (1915--41) after long political and economic chaos; under the authoritarian regimes of François Duvalier ('Papa Doc') (1957--71) and his son Jean-Claude Duvalier ('Baby Doc') (1971--86); returned to civilian rule in 1990, but another coup in 1991 brought military rule, which was ended in 1994 with US intervention. Official languages: French and Haitian creole. Religions: Roman Catholic and voodoo. Currency: gourde. Capital: Port-au-Prince. Pop: 8 437 000 (2004 est). Area: 27 749 sq km (10 714 sq miles)
2.  a former name for Hispaniola

Port-au-Prince (ˈpɔːtəʊˈprɪns, French pɔrtoprɛ̃s)
the capital and chief port of Haiti, in the south on the Gulf of Gonaïves: founded in 1749 by the French; university (1944). Pop: 2 090 000 (2005 est)

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Cultural Dictionary

Haiti definition

Republic in the West Indies, on the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Its capital and largest city is Port-au-Prince.

Note: With its extremely low average income and literacy rate, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Note: In 1957, François (“Papa Doc”) Duvalier established a dictatorship; at his death in 1971, he was succeeded by his son, Jean Claude (“Baby Doc”), who was finally overthrown in 1986. Since then the government has changed several times through military coups. In 1994, U.S. troops arrived in Haiti in an effort to restore democratic government, however, the political and economic future of Haiti remains uncertain.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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