Definitions

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

  • A river of northwest Brazil rising on the Bolivian border and flowing about 3,315 km (2,060 mi) generally northeast to the Amazon River near Manaus. It is the most important tributary of the Amazon.
  • n. A fortified dessert wine, especially from the island of Madeira.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Island in the Atlantic Ocean and an autonomous region of Portugal.
  • n. A type of fortified wine produced on that island.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rich wine made on the Island of Madeira.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fine wine of the sherry class made in the island of Madeira. It acquires by age peculiar excellence of flavor.

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

  • n. a Brazilian river; tributary of the Amazon River
  • n. an amber dessert wine from the Madeira Islands
  • n. an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa; the largest of the Madeira Islands

Etymologies

From Portuguese madeira ("wood"), from Latin materia, from Proto-Indo-European *méh₂tēr (“mother”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Gonsalie, Jean de Morales, and some of the sailors pulled through the surf and set foot on the island, which they called Madeira, because it was so well wooded.

    Famous Islands and Memorable Voyages

  • That race also was a qualifier for the World Championships, set for May 7 in Madeira

    USATODAY.com

  • Jane's inheritance from the uncle in Madeira that Jane is actually a rather sassy, assertive teenager, who knows what is best for her and, very gracefully, refuses to take crap from anyone (though like her author she is a bit of a snob and racist) the repeated instances of the supernatural - prophetic dreams, culminating in her hearing Rochester call to her from a hundred miles away - which make it a magical rather than realistic novel that it is actually a very enjoyable book.

    Linkspam for 24-9-2009

  • Madeira, where these nuts grow so abundantly that they have often been called Madeira-nuts.

    Among the Trees at Elmridge

  • "I say, Jack Vernon," sang out Larkyns to me, across the table, "I suppose you know why it is called Madeira?"

    Crown and Anchor Under the Pen'ant

  • The king of the walnuts, _Juglans regia_, sometimes called Madeira walnut, Persian walnut, Spanish walnut and English walnut, is the finest of the nuts as far as the fruit is concerned, and is a handsome tree growing to immense size with large spreading branches and almost tropical foliage.

    Northern Nut Growers Association, report of the proceedings at the eighth annual meeting Stamford, Connecticut, September 5 and 6, 1917

  • It is the chief affluent of the Madeira, which is itself the chief affluent of the Amazon.

    X. To the Amazon and Home; Zoological and Geographical Results of the Expedition

  • The actual outposts of western occupation, then, were the Azores, which were discovered by Genoese sailors in the pay of Portugal early in the fourteenth century; the Canaries, which had been continuously discovered and rediscovered since the Phoenicians occupied them and Pliny chose them for his Hesperides; and Madeira, which is believed to have been discovered by an Englishman under the following very romantic and moving circumstances.

    Christopher Columbus

  • We set sail, for instance, in the month of March, when it was bitterly cold in England; then we came off the coast of Spain, where it was a little more moderate; next to Madeira, which is always agreeable.

    The Lieutenant and Commander

  • Shortly after leaving Madeira, which is in 32-1/2 deg. north latitude, a ship may expect to meet the Trades; but she cannot calculate with any certainty upon catching them till she arrives at the parallel of 28 deg.

    The Lieutenant and Commander

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