Reunion (Fr. pron. nearly Ray-een-yong'), a French island in the Indian Ocean, 115 miles SW. of Mauritius and 350 E. of Madagascar. An ellipse in shape, it has an area of 970 sq. m., being 38 miles long and 28 broad. Population, 175,000, mostly Creoles, with 15,000 negroes and nearly 30,000 natives of India. The backbone of the island is a volcanic range, culminating in the Piton de Neiges (10,069 feet), and in Piton de Fournaise(8612 feet), an active volcano. Streams, although not large, are very numerous, and fall in cascades to the sea. The climate is hot, but on the whole not unhealthy. Cyclones sometimes do serious damage. One-third of the island is cultivated, one-third under timber, and one-sixth is grass-land. Tropical fruits, sugar (the staple crop), coffee, vanilla, cinchona, maize, vegetables (potatoes, &c), spices, tobacco, etc. are grown. By far the chief export is sugar; coffee, vanilla, rum, potatoes, and tapioca are the other exports. The capital is St Denis, on the north coast, with 33,000 inhabitants, a college, a botanic garden, etc.; it is a bishop's seat. St Paul, on the north-west, has 29,000 inhabitants; St Pierre, on the south-west coast, 25,000. The coast towns are connected by a railway 78 miles long. Reunion and Mauritius, the 'Mascarene Islands,' were discovered by the Portuguese, Mascarenhas. The French took this island in 1649, calling it successively Ile de Bourbon, Reunion (1798), Isle Bonaparte (1809), and Reunion again since 1848. The island was held by Britain from 1810 to 1815.