Definitions

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

  • n. A large group of islands: the Philippine archipelago.
  • n. A sea, such as the Aegean, containing a large number of scattered islands.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of islands.
  • n. Something scattered around like an archipelago.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The Grecian Archipelago, or Ægean Sea, separating Greece from Asia Minor. It is studded with a vast number of small islands.
  • n. Hence: Any sea or broad sheet of water interspersed with many islands or with a group of islands.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. [capitalized] Originally and specifically, the sea which separates Greece from Asia Minor, otherwise called the Ægean sea, studded with a number of small islands. Hence, generally
  • n. Any body of water abounding with islands, or the islands themselves collectively.

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

  • n. a group of many islands in a large body of water

Etymologies

Italian Arcipelago, the Aegean Sea, alteration (influenced by arci-, chief, archi-) of Medieval Latin Ēgēopelagus : Latin Aegaeus, Ēgēus, Aegean (from Greek Aigaios) + Latin pelagus, sea (from Greek pelagos .
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian arcipelago ("Aegean Sea"), from Ancient Greek ἀρχι- (archi, "leading") + πέλαγος (pelagos, "sea"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This archipelago is one of our nations leading tourist attractions and you can find a lot to do in its capitol of Honolulu.

    Five People Born on Cinco de Mayo | myFiveBest

  • Â This archipelago is one of our nations leading tourist attractions and you can find a lot to do in its capitol of Honolulu.

    Five Mysteries I Would Love To Solve | myFiveBest

  • Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire - a series of fault lines stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.

    Indonesia Tsunami Kills 23, Scores Missing

  • Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity due to its location on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

    Indonesian Earthquake Reaches 7.7-Magnitude

  • The tiny archipelago is located between Taiwan and Okinawa in southern Japan, and is under Japanese control, though China and Taiwan also claim possession of the territory.

    Captain's Release Sparks Furor in Japan

  • This archipelago is continually changing due to its volcanic past and present.

    Galápagos Islands xeric scrub

  • Lying in the Pacific dry belt most of the land in the archipelago is covered by arid, semi-desert xerophytic vegetation.

    Galápagos Islands xeric scrub

  • Although the flora of the archipelago is small in number (ca. 150 flowering plant species and 50 fern species), the archipelago contains a high level of endemic vascular plants (about 62.5%) including 12 genera and one family: Lactoridaceae.

    Juan Fernández Islands temperate forests

  • The Galapagos archipelago is best known for its amazing array of endemic species.

    Galápagos Islands xeric scrub

  • The Juan Fernández archipelago is located 667 kilometers (km) off the coast of continental Chile in the south-eastern part of the Pacific Ocean and is of the few regions of the world where there was no permanent human settlements before 16th century.

    Juan Fernández Islands temperate forests

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