Curaçao (Curaçao, ; Kòrsou, ) is a Lesser Antilles island in the southern Caribbean Sea and the Dutch Caribbean region, about 65 km north of the Venezuelan coast. It is a constituent country (land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The country was formerly part of the Curaçao and Dependencies colony (1815–1954) and is now formally called the Country of Curaçao (Land Curaçao; Pais Kòrsou); it includes the main island of Curaçao and the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao"). Curaçao has a population over 160,000 in an area of 444 km2 and its capital is Willemstad.
Before the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, Curaçao was administered as the "Island Territory of Curaçao" (Eilandgebied Curaçao, Teritorio Insular di Kòrsou), one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages would get scurvy from lack of vitamin C. According to some accounts, Portuguese sailors who were ill were left at the island now known as Curaçao. When their ship returned, they had recovered, likely cured from scurvy, probably after eating fruit with vitamin C. From then on the Portuguese referred to this as Ilha da Curação (Island of Healing). Another explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart, referring to the island as a centre in trade. An unstressed o in Continental Portuguese is usually pronounced [u], so the Portuguese word for heart, coração, is actually pronounced [kurɐsãw]. Spanish traders took the name over as Curaçao, which was followed by the Dutch.
Another explanation is that Curaçao was the name by which the indigenous peoples of the island identified themselves, their autonym. Early Spanish accounts support this theory, as they refer to the indigenous peoples as Indios Curaçaos, or "healing Indians".
From 1525, the island was featured on Spanish maps as Curaçote, Curasaote, and Curasaore. By the 17th century, it appeared on most maps in Portuguese as Curaçao or Curazao. On a map created by Hieronymus Cock in 1562 in Antwerp, the island was referred to as Qúracao.