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
archipelago was our Word of the Day on 11/07/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Recent Examples of archipelago from the Web
As of Wednesday morning, the cluster of storms and clouds that would become the depression was out in the Central Atlantic, about 800 miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Africa.
Boston is an archipelago, Los Angeles is a bay, and New York is under the sea.
Desperate to save its beloved wildlife, the archipelago nation is seizing on a drastic and controversial strategy: kill all the predators.
The DUP have fought to stop equal marriage, making Northern Ireland the only part of this archipelago without equal relationship rights.
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.
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."
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
What made you want to look up archipelago? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).