Definition of the East India Company from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the East India Company

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an English company started in 1600 to develop trade in the East Indies (= the islands off the south-east coast of Asia, including Java and Borneo). By the 18th century it had its own army and political service, and was responsible for the administration of parts of India. In the early 19th century the company founded (= established) the modern Singapore, which became a British colony in 1826. The East India Company continued to increase its power in India, but after the Indian Mutiny in 1858 the British government took over its work there, and the company ceased to exist.