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Sierra Leone

[lee-oh-nee, lee-ohn] /liˈoʊ ni, liˈoʊn/
noun
1.
an independent republic in W Africa: member of the Commonwealth of Nations; formerly a British colony and protectorate. 27,925 sq. mi. (72,326 sq. km).
Capital: Freetown.
Related forms
Sierra Leonean
[lee-oh-nee-uh n] /liˈoʊ ni ən/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

/sɪˈɛərə lɪˈəʊnɪ; lɪˈəʊn/
noun
1.
a republic in W Africa, on the Atlantic: became a British colony in 1808 and gained independence (within the Commonwealth) in 1961; declared a republic in 1971; became a one-party state in 1978; multiparty democracy restored in 1991 but military rule was imposed following a coup in 1992, which led to civil unrest; consists of coastal swamps rising to a plateau in the east. Official language: English. Religion: Muslim majority and animist. Currency: leone. Capital: Freetown. Pop: 5 612 685 (2013 est). Area: 71 740 sq km (27 699 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 Sierra Leone

West African nation, literally "lion mountains," from Spanish sierra "mountain range" (see sierra) + leon "lion" (see lion). Attested from mid-15c. in Portuguese explorers' accounts, and a very early explanation of the name derives it from the "roaring" of thunder in the mountains. Related: Sierra Leonean.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Sierra Leone in Culture
Sierra Leone [(see-er-uh lee-ohn, lee-oh-nee)]

Republic in western Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Guinea to the north and east, and Liberia to the south. Freetown is its capital and largest city.

Note: After the American Revolutionary War, attempts were made to settle freed slaves in Sierra Leone. Formerly a British protectorate, Sierra Leone became independent in 1961.
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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