- a country in West Africa, just west of Nigeria; population 8,791,800 (est. 2009); capital, Porto Novo; languages, French (official), West African languages. Former name (until 1975) Dahomey.
The country was conquered by the French in 1893 and became part of French West Africa. In 1960, it achieved independence
name adopted in 1975, formerly used by an African kingdom, powerful in the 14th–17th centuries