- a country on the northeastern coast of South America; population 481,300 (est. 2009); capital, Paramaribo; languages, Dutch (official), Creoles, and Hindi. Former name (until 1948) Dutch Guiana.
Colonized by the Dutch and the English from the 17th century, Suriname became fully independent in 1975. The population is descended largely from African slaves and Asian laborers brought in to work on sugar plantations; there is also a small American Indian population