Definition of Mauritania in US English:


proper noun

  • A country in West Africa with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean; population 4,100,000 (estimated 2015); capital, Nouakchott; languages, Arabic (official), Wolof (official), and French.

    Mauritania was a center of Berber power in the 11th and 12th centuries, at which time Islam was established in the region. Later, nomadic Arab tribes became dominant, while European nations, especially France, established trading posts on the coast. A French protectorate from 1902 and a colony from 1920, Mauritania achieved full independence in 1961