- a country in SE Europe, formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia; population 4,489,400 (est. 2009); language, Croatian; capital, Zagreb. Croatian name Hrvatska.
Apart from a period of Turkish rule in the 16th-17th centuries, Croatia largely remained linked with Hungary until 1918, when it joined the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). After a period in the Second World War as a Nazi puppet state (1941-5), Croatia became part of Yugoslavia once more and remained a constituent republic until it declared itself independent in 1991. The secession of Croatia led to war between Croats and the Serb minority, and with Serbia; a ceasefire was called in 1992