- a country on the NE coast of South America; population 752,900 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), English Creole, Hindi; capital, Georgetown. Official name Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
The Spaniards explored the area in 1499, and the Dutch settled there in the 17th century. It was occupied by the British from 1796 and established, with adjacent areas, as the colony of British Guiana in 1831. In 1966 it became an independent Commonwealth state
from an American Indian word meaning 'land of waters'