Definition of Malta from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

an island and country in the Mediterranean Sea, to the south of Sicily. Malta became a member of the European Union in 2004. Its capital is Valletta and its official languages are Maltese and English. From 1530 to 1798 it was ruled by the Knights of St John, a military and religious organization. In 1814 it was taken over by Britain and became an important navy base. In World War II it was given the George Cross for resisting heavy German air attacks. Together with the nearby islands of Gozo and Comino it became independent in 1964. Malta is a member of the Commonwealth and joined the European Union in 2004. Tourism is an important part of its economy, and many British people go there on holiday. See related entries: Countries and continents
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Malta