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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • An area comprising the countries of southwest Asia and northeast Africa. In the 20th century the region has been the continuing scene of political and economic turmoil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The region comprising southwest Asia and northeast Africa.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the area around the eastern Mediterranean; from Turkey to northern Africa and eastward to Iran; the site of such ancient civilizations as Phoenicia and Babylon and Egypt and the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and Islam; had continuous economic and political turmoil in the 20th century

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