africa

Cultural Dictionary

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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