West Indies

geographical name

Definition of West Indies

1 the islands lying between southeastern North America and northern South America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic and comprising the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles, and Bahamas
2 or West Indies Federation former country including all of the British West Indies except the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands

Note: The West Indies Federation was established in 1958 and was dissolved in 1961.

Other Words from West Indies

West Indian adjective or noun

Learn More about West Indies

Statistics for West Indies

Cite this Entry

“West Indies.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/West%20Indies. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

Comments on West Indies

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!