plural zaires or zaire
: the basic monetary unit of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1967–71) and of Zaire (1971–96)

Word History


French zaïre, from Zaïre, former name (1971–97) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

First Known Use

1967, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zaire was in 1967

Dictionary Entries Near zaire

Cite this Entry

“Zaire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Za·​ire zä-ˈir How to pronounce Zaire (audio)
river in Africa see congo sense 1
Zairean adjective or noun
or Zairian
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