from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A poetic name for Japan, used by Marco Polo.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Always supposing that he was near Japan, which they called Cipango, Columbus continued to sail along the northern coast of Cuba and explored about half that shore.

    The life of Christopher Columbus: from his own letters and journals and other documents of his time. 1891

  • Marco Polo regarding a large island, which he called Cipango, and which he represented as lying in the ocean off the eastern coast of

    Amerigo Vespucci Frederick Albion Ober 1881

  • But Messer Zoanne has set his mind on higher things, for he thinks that, when that place has been occupied, he will keep on still further towards the east, where he will be opposite to an island called Cipango, situated in the equinoctial region, where he believes that all the spices of the world, as well as the jewels, are found.

    John Cabot's Discovery of North America 1909

  • Having landed at this indefinitely located point, Columbus, believing that he had reached the region he was seeking, despatched messengers to the interior to open communication with some high official of Cathay, in which country he supposed himself to be, the idea of Cipango apparently having been abandoned.

    Cuba, Old and New 1893

  • This island, known now as Japan, was called Cipango, and was supposed to be inexhaustible in riches, especially when the reports of Polo were confirmed by Sir John Mandeville, an English traveller in the time of Edward III., -- and with even greater exaggerations, since he represented the royal palace to be more than six miles in circumference, occupied by three hundred thousand men.

    Beacon Lights of History John Lord 1852

  • Columbus asked these friendly people for "Cipango," they looked blank and shook their heads; so did all the other islanders he met during his three months 'cruise among the West Indies.

    Christopher Columbus Mildred Stapley Byne

  • "Cipango," said Philip, who had read Marco Polo's book in the Latin version published a year or two before.

    The Path of the King John Buchan 1907

  • When he first arrived to the Bahamas and Cuba, he thought that he was arriving to the Cipango (Japan) Islands, a previous stage to the eastern-most part of Asia. ante Says:

    Long overdue. 2008

  • “XIII” is produced by Prodigy Pictures and Cipango.

    NBC Announces New Schedule | the TV addict 2008

  • For most adults, the manga aisle of the local bookstore may seem as unfamiliar as Cathay or Cipango, but for adolescents, teen-agers and college students, it's a welcome and familiar harbor.

    The Elegant Variation: TEV 2007


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