A country of southeast Asia comprising Singapore Island and adjacent smaller islands. A trading center as early as the 14th century, Singapore was later part of Johor, a region of the southern Malay Peninsula, under the Malacca Sultanate. The island of Singapore was ceded to the British East India Company in 1819, and the city was founded the same year by Sir Thomas Raffles. The British took complete control in 1824 and added Singapore to the newly formed Straits Settlements in 1826. During World War II it was held by the Japanese (19421945) before being retaken by the British. Singapore became a crown colony in 1946, a self-governing state in 1959, part of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, and a fully independent republic in 1965. The city of Singapore is the capital. Population: 2,930,000.
Singa·pore·an ADJECTIVE & NOUN
Singapore comes from Malay Singapora, Lion-city, but it is possible that one element of its name had a more distant original source. Pora comes from Sanskrit puram, city, fortress, and is related to Greek polis, citadel, city. Singa comes from Sanskrit siha, lion, and is familiar to us in the name Singh, which all male Sikhs use as at least one of their personal names. Interestingly, siha is probably related to Swahili simba, lion, but since lions are native to Asia as well as Africa, it is not known whether the word came into India from Africa or the other way around, or if both are from a third source.