- a special administrative region on the southeastern coast of China, formerly a Portuguese dependency, comprising the Macao peninsula and the islands of Taipa and Cologne; population 433,700 (est. 2006); capital, Macao City. Visited by Vasco da Gama in 1497, Macao was developed by the Portuguese as a trading post and became the chief center of trade between Europe and China in the 18th century. In 1999, Macao passed to China, as agreed upon in 1987. Portuguese name Macau.
Pronunciación: /ˌmakəˈnēz, -ˈnēs/adjective & noun