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Guinea, Gulf of
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A broad inlet of the Atlantic Ocean formed by the great bend in the west-central coast of Africa. It includes the Bights of Benin and Biafra.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Guin·ea (gĭnē)
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1. A historical region of western and equatorial Africa extending along the coast from Gambia to Angola. Sections of the area from the Bight of Benin westward were known to early traders as the Slave, Gold, Ivory, and Grain Coasts.
2. A country of western Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. Inhabited by Fulani, Malinke, and Susu peoples, parts of present-day Guinea belonged to the medieval kingdom of Ghana and later to the Mali Empire. Explored by the Portuguese in the 1400s, it came under French control in the 1800s, becoming a part of French West Africa in 1895. Guinea gained its independence in 1958. Conakry is the capital and the largest city.

Guine·anadj. & n.
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Guinea

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
guin·ea (gĭnē)
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n.
1.
a. A gold coin issued in England from 1663 to 1813 and worth one pound and one shilling.
b. The sum of one pound and one shilling.
2. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person of Italian birth or descent.

[After the Guinea coast of Africa, the source of the gold from which it was first made. Sense 2, probably from obsolete American English Guinea, enslaved African from the Guinea region, short for obsolete Guinea negro (Sicilian and Southern Italian immigrants to the United States perhaps being so called because their complexions were considered darker than those of northern European immigrants, and because the general status of Italian immigrants in American society was originally low).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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