Aracan, Or Arracan. I. A division of British Burmah, including; the districts of Akyab, San-doway, and Ramree, bounded W. by the bay of Bengal, S. by Pegu, and separated by the You-madoung mountains on the E. from Ava; area, 23,529 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 447,957. It is a hilly region, with numerous fertile plains and valleys, dense jungles, and pestiferous marsnes. The coast has very few harbors, and though the country is rich in timber, coal, petroleum, salt, tobacco, and rice, and has considerable trade, there are few important towns. The climate is very unhealthy to Europeans. The principal river is the Aracan or Kuladyne, which enters the bay of Bengal 15 m. N. of Akyab, after a S. course of about 200 m. The aboriginal inhabitants, called Mughs, constitute about half the population. Education is very general, few being unable to read and write. The province was conquered by the Burmese in 1783, and taken from them by the British in 1824. Capital, Akyab.
II. A town, the former capital of the above province, on the river Aracan, about 50 m. from its mouth; pop. about 10,000. It is a straggling, decaying place, which once had about 95,000 inhabitants. The climate is extremely unwholesome.