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A French overseas territory in the southwest Pacific Ocean consisting of the island of New Caledonia and several smaller islands. The island of New Caledonia was sighted and named by Capt. James Cook in 1774 and annexed by France in 1853. It was a penal colony from 1864 to 1922. Nouméa is the capital.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Placename) an island in the SW Pacific, east of Australia: forms, with its dependencies, a French Overseas Country; discovered by Captain Cook in 1774; rich mineral resources. Capital: Nouméa. Pop: 264 022 (2013 est). Area: 19 103 sq km (7374 miles). French name: Nouvelle-Calédonie
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. an island in the S Pacific, ab. 800 mi. (1290 km) E of Australia. 127,885; 6224 sq. mi. (16,120 sq. km).
2. an overseas territory of France comprising this island and other smaller islands: formerly a penal colony. 187,784; 7200 sq. mi. (18,650 sq. km). Cap.: Nouméa.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.