Trincomalee, a town of Ceylon, in the N E. part of the island, in lat. 8° 34' N, Ion. 81° 12' E.; pop. about 20,000. It stands on the N. side of the entrance to a capacious and secure harbor at the foot of well wooded hills and two heights crowned by forts, besides which the port is defended by numerous fortifications which extend for about a mile along the shore. The inner harbor is landlocked, and has the advantage over all other harbors of India of being accessible to all descriptions of ships during both monsoons. The inhabitants are mostly of Tamil origin, from the S. E.'coast of India. The trade is of little importance, but precious stones are found in the neighborhood in considerable quantities. - The Portuguese were the first European nation to form a settlement at Trincomalee. They were expelled by the Dutch, who were in turn driven out by the British in 1782; but an insufficient garrison having been left for its defence, it was captured by the French, who restored it to the Dutch. In 1795 the British again captured it after a siege of three weeks, and it has since remained in their possession.