geographical name
Ma·​cao | \ mə-ˈkau̇ How to pronounce Macao (audio) \
variants: or Macau or Chinese Aomen \ ˈau̇-​ˈmən How to pronounce Aomen (audio) \

Definition of Macao

1 peninsula in the province of Guangdong, southeastern China, in the Xi River delta west of Hong Kong
2 special administrative region of southeastern China comprising Macao Peninsula and two small adjacent islands; formerly a Portuguese overseas territory with the city of Macao as its capital area 9.1 square miles (23.6 square kilometers), population 552,503

Note: The economy of Macao is based to a large extent on casinos and tourism.

3 city in the special administrative region of Macao population 469,000

Other Words from Macao

Macanese \ ˌmä-​kə-​ˈnēz How to pronounce Macanese (audio) , -​ˈnēs \ noun

Learn More about Macao

Statistics for Macao

Cite this Entry

“Macao.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on Macao

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Macao

Comments on Macao

What made you want to look up Macao? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!