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

  • A country of southwest Europe comprising most of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic and Canary Islands. Inhabited since the Stone Age, the region was colonized by Phoenicians and Greeks and later ruled by Carthage and Rome (after 201 B.C.). Barbarians first invaded Spain in A.D. 409 but were supplanted by Moors from North Africa (711-719), who organized a kingdom known for its learning and splendor. The Moors were gradually displaced by small Christian states and were ousted from their last stronghold, Granada, in 1492. Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile then became rulers of a united Spain, which became a world power through exploration and conquest. After the empire was lost in the 18th and 19th centuries, Spain experienced social and economic unrest that culminated in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the rise of Francisco Franco. After Franco's death in 1975 the monarchy was restored under King Juan Carlos, who oversaw the creation of a parliamentary democracy. Madrid is the capital and the largest city. Population: 40,400,000.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A country in Europe, including most of the Iberian peninsula. Official name: Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as spane.

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

  • n. a parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula; a former colonial power


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman Espayne, from Late Latin Spania, from earlier Latin Hispānia, from Ancient Greek Ἱσπανία (Hispania), from Phoenician  (ay-shaphanim, literally "hyrax isle"), as the native wild rabbits were mistaken for hyraces.



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  • From Spaine what bringeth our Traueller? a scull cround hat of the fashion of an olde deepe poringer, a diminutiue Aldermans ruffe with shorte strings like the droppings of a mans nose, a close-bellied dublet comming downe with a peake behinde as farre as the crupper, and cut off before by the breast-boane like a partlet or neckercher, a wyde payre of gascoynes which vngatherd would make a couple of womens ryding kyrtles, huge hangers that haue halfe a Cowe hyde in them, a Rapyer that is lineally descended from halfe a dozen Dukes at the least.

    - Thomas Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller, 1594

    April 14, 2010