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Darién(dâr'ēĕn`, Span. däryān`), eastern part of Panama between the Gulf of Darién on the east and the Gulf of San Miguel on the west. Darién province, heavily forested and sparsely populated, is in the western part of the region. Formerly the name was frequently used to mean the entire isthmus of Panama. In 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa led an expedition across Darién and became the first European to view the Pacific Ocean from the New World. Keats referred to this exploit in his poem "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" but confused Balboa with Hernán Cortés.
Darien(dâr`ēĕn'), residential town (1990 pop. 18,130), Fairfield co., SW Conn., on Long Island Sound; settled c.1641, inc. 1820. An affluent suburb on Connecticut's "Gold Coast," it has private waterfront clubs as well as both 18th-century and new houses.
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1. the E part of the Isthmus of Panama, between the Gulf of Darien on the Caribbean coast and the Gulf of San Miguel on the Pacific coast; chiefly within the republic of Panama but extending also into Colombia: site of a disastrous attempt to establish a Scottish colony in 1698
2. Isthmus of. the former name of the Isthmus of Panama
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005