Ryukyu Islands

geographical name
Ryu·​kyu Islands | \ rē-ˈyü-(ˌ)kyü How to pronounce Ryukyu Islands (audio) , -(ˌ)kü\

Definition of Ryukyu Islands

chain of islands in the western Pacific Ocean extending between Kyushu, the southernmost main island of Japan, and Taiwan area about 850 square miles (2200 square kilometers), population 1,222,458

Note: The Ryukus belonged to Japan from 1895 to 1945 and were occupied by the U.S. in 1945. The northern islands were returned to Japan in 1953 and the southern islands in 1972.

— see amami, okinawa, osumi islands, sakishima islands, tokara islands

Other Words from Ryukyu Islands

Ryukyuan \ rē-​ˈyü-​ˌkyü-​ən How to pronounce Ryukyuan (audio) , -​ˌkü-​ \ adjective or noun

Comments on Ryukyu Islands

What made you want to look up Ryukyu Islands? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!