Macao (Ma-ka'o), a Portuguese settlement on the south coast of China, and on the west side of the Canton River estuary, Hong-kong being 40 miles distant on the opposite side. The settlement occupies a small peninsula projecting from the SE. island of Hiang-shang. The islands Colovane and Taipa also belong to the settlement, whose total area is 4 1/2 sq. m. and pop. 87,030 (less than 5000 Portuguese, the rest mostly Chinese). The principal public buildings are the cathedral and churches. Great part of the revenue is derived from licensed gambling-houses. The Portuguese obtained permission to settle in Macao in 1557, but the Chinese exacted an annual ground-rent until 1886. The anchorage is defective; large vessels cannot approach nearer than six miles. Since the rise of Hong-kong the commerce of Macao has suffered severely. Shortly after it was declared a free port (1845) it became the headquarters of the coolie trade, especially with Peru and Cuba; but in consequence of fearful abuses the British and the Chinese constrained the Portuguese government to abolish the traffic in 1873. The imports include opium, kerosene, piece goods, yarn, and provisions; the exports, tea, oils, silk, and rice. In a grotto here Camoens is traditionally believed to have written his Lusiad.