archipelago

Now here's a word, archipelago, that is super-specific: it means a group of many islands. Wouldn't it be great to build your dream house in the Galapagos archipelago?

It seems that archipelago came from the Italian Arciplago, the name for the Aegean Sea, which is full of many many islands. Somehow that became the word for any sea that is chock-full of islands. You can also use archipelago to indicate some other grouping that involves neither islands nor water but is similar to them. Your little sister might create an archipelago of Lego buildings on your living room carpet.

Definitions of archipelago
  1. noun
    a group of many islands in a large body of water
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    examples:
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    Cape Verde Islands
    a group of islands in the Atlantic off of the coast of Senegal
    Tierra del Fuego
    an archipelago off southern South America; separated from the continent by the Strait of Magellan; islands are administered by Chile and by Argentina
    Comoro Islands
    three main islands and numerous islets in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar
    West Indies
    the string of islands between North America and South America; a popular resort area
    Antilles
    a group of islands in the West Indies
    Greater Antilles
    a group of islands in the western West Indies
    Lesser Antilles
    a group of islands in the southeastern West Indies
    Leeward Islands
    a group of islands in the eastern West Indies
    Windward Islands
    a group of islands in the southeastern West Indies; the southern part of the Lesser Antilles
    Svalbard
    a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean
    Lofoten
    a string of islands off the northwestern coast of Norway in the Norwegian Sea
    Aaland islands
    an archipelago of some 6,000 islands in the Gulf of Bothnia under Finnish control
    Arctic Archipelago
    all the islands that lie to the north of mainland Canada and the Arctic Circle
    Aleutian Islands
    an archipelago in the North Pacific extending southwest from Alaska
    Oceanica
    a large group of islands in the south Pacific including Melanesia and Micronesia and Polynesia (and sometimes Australasia and the Malay Archipelago)
    Australasia
    Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the South Pacific
    Austronesia
    islands of central and South Pacific (Indonesia and Melanesia and Micronesia and Polynesia)
    Melanesia
    the islands in the southwestern part of Oceania
    Micronesia
    the islands in the northwestern part of Oceania
    Ladrone Islands
    a chain of coral and volcanic islands in Micronesia (including Guam and the Northern Marianas) halfway between New Guinea and Japan; discovered by Magellan in 1521
    Caroline Islands
    a long archipelago of more than 500 islands in Micronesia to the east of the Philippines
    Marshall Islands
    a group of coral islands in eastern Micronesia
    Gilbert Islands
    a group of islands in Micronesia to the southwest of Hawaii; formerly part of the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands until it became part of the Republic of Kiribati in 1979
    Ellice Islands
    a group of coral islands in Micronesia to the southwest of Hawaii
    Polynesia
    the islands in the eastern part of Oceania
    Malay Archipelago
    a group of islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans between Asia and Australia
    Sunda Islands
    a chain of islands in the western Malay Archipelago
    Greater Sunda Islands
    a chain of islands including Borneo and Celebes and Java and Sumatra
    Lesser Sunda Islands
    a chain of islands forming a province of Indonesia to the east of Java; includes Bali and Timor
    Bismarck Archipelago
    a group of islands in the southwestern Pacific to the northeast of New Guinea; part of Papua New Guinea
    Admiralty Islands
    a group of islands in the Bismarck Archipelago
    Isles of Scilly
    an archipelago of small islands off the southwestern coast of England near the entrance to the English Channel; formerly a haven for smugglers and pirates
    Hebridean Islands
    a group of more than 500 islands off the western coast of Scotland
    Inner Hebrides
    islands between the Outer Hebrides and the western coast of Scotland
    Outer Hebrides
    a 130-mile long archipelago to the northwest of Scotland
    Japanese Archipelago
    a string of more than 3,000 islands to the east of Asia extending 1,300 miles between the Sea of Japan and the western Pacific Ocean
    Ryukyu Islands
    a chain of 55 islands in the western Pacific to the to the southwest of Japan (returned by United States to Japan in 1972)
    Volcano Islands
    a group of Japanese Islands in the northwestern Pacific Ocean to the north of the Marianas
    Frisian Islands
    a chain of islands in the North Sea off the coast of northwestern Europe extending from the IJsselmeer to Jutland
    Orkney Islands
    an archipelago of about 70 islands in the North Atlantic and North Sea off the northeastern coast of Scotland
    Shetland Islands
    an archipelago of about 100 islands in the North Atlantic off the north coast of Scotland
    Palau Islands
    a chain of more than 200 islands about 400 miles long in the western central Pacific Ocean
    Philippine Islands
    an archipelago in the southwestern Pacific including some 7000 islands
    Madeira Islands
    a group of volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Morocco; the group forms an autonomous region of Portugal
    Society Islands
    an island group of French Polynesia in the South Pacific to the east of Samoa
    Paumotu Archipelago
    a group of about 80 coral islands in French Polynesia
    Austral Islands
    a chain of small islands in French Polynesia
    Gambier Islands
    a group of islands in the south central Pacific; part of French Polynesia
    Marquesas Islands
    a group of volcanic islands in the south central Pacific; part of French Polynesia
    Solomon Islands
    the northernmost islands are part of Papua New Guinea; the remainder form an independent state within the British Commonwealth
    Balearic Islands
    an archipelago in the western Mediterranean off the eastern coast of Spain
    Alexander Archipelago
    a group of islands off southeastern Alaska
    Hawaiian Islands
    a group of volcanic and coral islands in the central Pacific
    type of:
    dry land, earth, ground, land, solid ground, terra firma
    the solid part of the earth's surface
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