- a country in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea; population 20,617,100 (est. 2009); languages, French (official), West African languages; capital, Yamoussoukro. Also called Ivory Coast.
The area was explored by the Portuguese in the late 15th century. Subsequently it was disputed by traders from various European countries, who mainly sought ivory and slaves. It was made a French protectorate in 1842 and became a fully independent republic in 1960