Definition of archipelago
1 : an expanse of water with many scattered islands
2 : a group of islands
3 : something resembling an archipelago; especially : a group or scattering of similar things an archipelago of small parks within the city
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Recent Examples of archipelago from the Web
And for the Asia-Pacific region in particular, with its low-lying archipelagos and fierce cyclones, climate is itself a security issue.
Amid the uncertainty, fear of the Islamic State has pervaded the archipelago nation.
Salina, Aeolian Islands, Sicily: Salina is the second-largest and the greenest island of the Aeolian archipelago off northeast Sicily.
The archipelago of Ibiza, resting east of mainland Spain, is world famous for its all-night (and all-day) raves.
The island on which Taumoepenu grew up, Tongatapu, is the main island in the Tongan archipelago, which is about 3,200 miles east of Australia.
Malta, a Mediterranean archipelago with less than half a million residents, boasts the lowest effective corporate tax rate in the European Union and has become a preferred destination for tax avoidance in the EU.
In June comes Bawah Private Island, which, despite its name, actually occupies five separate islands set in three turquoise lagoons in Indonesia’s Anambas archipelago, two hours by ferry and seaplane from Singapore.
This archipelago off the northeast coast of Brazil consists of 21 islands, featuring some of the best beaches and most beautiful landscapes in the country.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'archipelago'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Greeks called it the Aegean Pelagos and the Italians referred to it as Arcipelago (principal sea), but English speakers now call it the Aegean Sea. Numerous islands dot its expanse, and 17th-century English speakers adopted a modified form of its Italian name for any sea with a similar scattering of islands. By the 19th century archipelago had come to refer to the groups of islands themselves, and now it is often used figuratively, as in, for example, "an archipelago of high rises."
Origin and Etymology of archipelago
Archipelago Aegean Sea, from Italian Arcipelago, literally, chief sea, from arci- (from Latin archi-) + Greek pelagos sea — more at plagal
First Known Use: 1589
ARCHIPELAGO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of archipelago for English Language Learners
: a group of islands
ARCHIPELAGO Defined for Kids
Definition of archipelago for Students
: a group of islands
Seen and Heard
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