Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A group of islands of eastern Indonesia between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Inhabited by various Malay and Papuan peoples, the islands were colonized first by the Portuguese in the 1500s and later fell to the Dutch in the 1600s. The Moluccas, long known as the “Spice Islands,” have historically provided much of the world's cloves, nutmeg, and mace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun An archipelago in Indonesia.

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

  • noun a group of island in eastern Indonesia between Celebes and New Guinea; settled by the Portuguese but taken by the Dutch who made them the center for a spice monopoly, at which time they were known as Spice Islands

Etymologies

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