WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
Mad•a•gas•car  (mad′ə gaskər),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Place Namesan island republic in the Indian Ocean, about 240 mi. (385 km) off the SE coast of Africa: formerly a French colony;
    gained independence 1960. 14,061,627;
    227,800 sq. mi. (590,000 sq. km). Cap.: Antananarivo. Formerly,  Malagasy Republic. 
Mad′a•gascan, n., adj. 


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

Madagascar /ˌmædəˈɡæskə/ n
  1. an island republic in the Indian Ocean, off the E coast of Africa: made a French protectorate in 1895; became autonomous in 1958 and fully independent in 1960; contains unique flora and fauna. Languages: Malagasy and French. Religions: animist and Christian. Currency: franc. Capital: Antananarivo. Pop: 17 901 000 (2004 est). Area: 587 041 sq km (266 657 sq miles)
    Official name (since 1975): Democratic Republic of Madagascar
    Former name (1958–75): Malagasy Republic



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