- a republic in NW South America. 109,483 sq. mi. (283,561 sq. km). Capital: Quito.
- a republic in South America, on the Pacific: under the Incas when Spanish colonization began in 1532; gained independence in 1822; declared a republic in 1830. It consists chiefly of a coastal plain in the west, separated from the densely forested upper Amazon basin (Oriente) by ranges and plateaus of the Andes. Official language: Spanish; Quechua is also widely spoken. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: US dollar. Capital: Quito. Pop: 15 439 429 (2013 est). Area: 283 560 sq km (109 483 sq miles)
from the Spanish form of equator (which runs through it). Before 1830 the region bore the name of its chief city, Quito, which is from the name of a now-extinct native people, of unknown meaning. Related: Ecuadorian; Ecuadorean.
Republic in western South America, bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Its landscape is dominated by the Andes. Quito is its capital, and Guayaquil is its largest city.