Meaning of "independent sheikhdom under British protectorate

a country on the northwestern coast of the Persian Gulf; population 2,692,500 (est. 2009); capital, Kuwait City; official language, Arabic.


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Ku·wait  (ko͞o-wāt′)
1. A country of the northeast Arabian Peninsula at the head of the Persian Gulf. Settled by Arab tribes in the early 1700s, it became a British protectorate in 1897 and an independent kingdom in 1961. Iraq invaded and occupied the country in 1990, sparking the Persian Gulf War (1991), which ended with Iraqi troops being driven out by a coalition of Arab and Western forces. With its major oil reserves, discovered in 1938, it has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. The city of Kuwait is its capital.
2. also Kuwait City The capital of Kuwait, in the east-central part of the country on the Persian Gulf. It was heavily damaged during the Gulf War.

Ku·wait′i (-wā′tē) adj. & n.


Kuwait (kʊˈweɪt) or Koweit
1. (Placename) a state on the NW coast of the Persian Gulf: came under British protection in 1899 and gained independence in 1961; invaded by Iraq in 1990; liberated by US-led UN forces 1991 in the Gulf War: mainly desert. The economy is dependent on oil. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Kuwait. Pop: 2 695 316 (2013 est). Area: 24 280 sq km (9375 sq miles)
2. (Placename) the capital of Kuwait: a port on the Persian Gulf. Pop: 1 225 000 (2005 est)


Ku•wait (kʊˈweɪt) , n.
1. a sovereign monarchy in NE Arabia, on the NW coast of the Persian Gulf: formerly a British protectorate. 1,991,115; ab. 8000 sq. mi. (20,720 sq. km).
2. the capital of this monarchy. 167,750.
Ku•wai′ti (-ˈweɪ ti) n., pl. -tis, adj.