Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • The largest of the Volcano Islands of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean east of Taiwan. The island was the scene of severe fighting during World War II.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A volcanic island in Japan’s Ogasawara Islands chain, officially called Iōtō in Japanese.
  • proper n. A volcanic island located in the Satsunan Shoto, an island group south of Kyushu, also known as Satsuma Iojima.
  • proper n. A decisive battle during World War II.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the largest of the Volcano Islands of Japan
  • n. a bloody and prolonged operation on the island of Iwo Jima in which American marines landed and defeated Japanese defenders (February and March 1945)

Etymologies

From Japanese 硫黄島 (iōjima). Prior to Japanese spelling reforms in the 1940s, this word was spelled いわうじま (iwaujima). Historical /au/ becomes IPA: [oː] via regular phonological rules resulting in [iwoːtoː]. With the exception of the low vowel /a/, /w/ is no longer phonetically realized. Thus, the word becomes IPA: [ioːjima]. The English spelling is based on the historical Japanese spelling, not pronunciation, as evident of retaining the "w". The long vowels are often ignored thus the loss of the macrons. Spacing is inconsistent as Iwojima is not uncommon. Iwo-Jima with a hyphen is also used. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They had a Japanese man up in front of the audience introducing the film by explaining that there was this tiny island out in the middle of the Pacific called Iwo Jima that was the site of a fierce battle between the Japanese and Americans.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Biological Weapons Amnesia

  • Would a majority of the people -- or, in this case, a majority of the soldiers -- chosen to fight that bloody battle for that small piece of rock called Iwo Jima?

    CNN Transcript Jan 8, 2007

  • That would be by Marines off the Iwo Jima, which is currently at anchor off the Lebanese coast.

    CNN Transcript Jul 15, 2006

  • The nearest U.S. ships with helicopters are part of a seven-ship task force headed by the Iwo Jima, which is in the Red Sea.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2006

  • And not only is the USS Gonzalez involved, it's also the Iwo Jima, which is an amphibious assault ship, along with six other ships that are being pressed into service.

    CNN Transcript Jul 18, 2006

  • But the more practical option may be moving a number of Marine amphibious warships, headed by the USS Iwo Jima, that is now in the northern Red Sea conducting an exercise with Jordan.

    CNN Transcript Jul 14, 2006

  • Letters from Iwo Jima, which is almost entirely in Japanese, is nominated as best foreign language film.

    CNN Transcript Dec 14, 2006

  • When my father was stationed in Okinawa in the mid-50's as a Marine, he went to Iwo Jima, which is still a restricted area and controlled by the Japanese self-defense forces.

    THE NEWS BLOG

  • Today marks the 60th anniversary or our landing on that little black sandy island known as Iwo Jima and it is still an indelible picture in my mind.

    THE NEWS BLOG

  • This is on board the Iwo Jima, which is the amphibious assault ship that we've been telling you about that has become quite a nexus of operations here for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

    CNN Transcript Sep 12, 2005

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