tarawa's

Tarawa

[tuh-rah-wuh, tar-uh-wah, tah-rah-wah]
noun
one of the Gilbert Islands, in the central Pacific; capital, since 1979, of the independent nation of Kiribati: U.S. victory over Japanese forces after severe fighting, November, 1943. 14 sq. mi. (36 sq. km).
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World English Dictionary
Tarawa (təˈrɑːwə)
 
n
an atoll in Kiribati, occupying a chain of islets surrounding a lagoon in the W central Pacific: the capital of Kiribati, Bairiki, is on this atoll. Pop: 45 989 (2005)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Kiribati
island nation in the Pacific, formerly Gilbert Islands and named for Capt. Thomas Gilbert, who arrived there 1788 after helping transport the first shipload of convicts to Australia. At independence in 1979 it took the current name, which represents the local pronunciation
of Gilbert. Christmas Island, named for the date it was discovered by Europeans, is in the chain and now goes by Kiritimati, likewise a local pronunciation of the English name.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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