archipelago

play
noun ar·chi·pel·a·go \ˌär-kə-ˈpe-lə-ˌgō, ˌär-chə-\

Definition of archipelago

plural

archipelagoes

or

archipelagos

  1. 1 :  an expanse of water with many scattered islands

  2. 2 :  a group of islands

  3. 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!

Recent Examples of archipelago from the web

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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

archipelago

play
noun ar·chi·pel·a·go \ˌär-kə-ˈpe-lə-ˌgō, ˌär-chə-\

Definition of archipelago for English Language Learners

  • : a group of islands


ARCHIPELAGO Defined for Kids

archipelago

play
noun ar·chi·pel·a·go \ˌär-kə-ˈpe-lə-ˌgō, ˌär-chə-\

Definition of archipelago for Students

plural

archipelagoes

or

archipelagos

  1. :  a group of islands



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