- a country that consists of two adjoining islands in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea; population 40,100 (est. 2009); capital, Basseterre (on St. Kitts); languages, English (official) and Creole. Official name St. Christopher and Nevis, Federation of.
St. Kitts was visited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. The islands were colonized by English settlers from 1623 and became the first successful English colony in the West Indies. A self-governing union between St. Kitts and Nevis (and briefly Anguilla) was created in 1967 and became a fully independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1983
St. Kitts, alteration (by settlers) of St. Christopher, a name given to the island by Columbus; Nevis from Spanish las nieves 'the snows' (because of the “snowy” clouds surrounding the peak)