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

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