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Mato Grosso(mä`to͝o grô`so͝o) [Port.,=thick forest], state (1996 pop. 2,227,983), 348,038 sq mi (901,420 sq km), central and W Brazil. The capital is CuiabáCuiabá
, city (1996 pop. 443,101), capital of Mato Grosso state, SW Brazil, at the head of navigation on the Cuiabá River. Founded in the gold rush of the early 18th cent., it has been the state capital since 1818.
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a state in western Brazil, in the Brazilian Highlands. Area, 1,231,500 sq km; population, 1,623,600(1970). The administrative center is Cuiabá. In the north is the tropical rain forest of the Amazon; in the central part and the south are sparse forests and savannas. The main business is cattle raising. Forest products are collected, and there is consumer agriculture (rice, corn, manioc, and sugarcane). Manganese and iron ores are mined near the city of Corumbá. Textile and food enterprises are found in the state. The main centers are Cuiabá, Corumbá, and Campo Grande.
a plateau in the northwestern Brazilian Highlands, between the upper courses of the Tapajós, Xingú, and Paraguay rivers. Average elevations, 500-700 m; maximum elevation, 893 m. Mato Grosso is composed primarily of Paleozoic sandstone which forms steep scarps (chapadas). The climate is subequatorial, hot, and, in the summer, humid. The plateau is covered with low-tree savannas (campos cerrados).