- the largest country in South America, in the east-central part of the continent, on the Atlantic Ocean; population 198,739,300 (est. 2009); capital, Brasilia; official language, Portuguese. Portuguese name Brasil.
Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. Previously inhabited in large part by Tupi and Guarani peoples, Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese, who imported large numbers of slaves from West Africa to work on sugar plantations. The country was proclaimed an independent empire in 1822 and became a republic after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1889