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West Indies

(used with a plural verb). Also called the Indies. an archipelago in the N Atlantic between North and South America, comprising the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas.
(used with a singular verb) Federation of, Also called West Indies Federation. a former federation (1958–62) of the British islands in the Caribbean, comprising Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Windward and Leeward island colonies.
Related forms
West Indian, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for west indian
Contemporary Examples
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  • The west indian labourer quickly began to earn a better report.

    The Panama Canal J. Saxon Mills
  • The young west indian overseer was not alone in his scruples.

    Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay George Otto Trevelyan
  • A cloud of the perfume of a west indian bean went up from it, sweet and warm.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • A west indian tree, of the wood of which sheaves of blocks are made.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The new company received the title of the "west indian Company."

  • We all of us have, more or less, a west indian constitution; that accounts for anything.'

    Heartsease Charlotte M. Yonge
  • But as soon as Luiga gave the order, he quietly raised his pistol and shot the west indian dead.

British Dictionary definitions for west indian

West Indian

of or relating to the West Indies, its inhabitants, or their language or culture
native to or derived from the West Indies
a native or inhabitant of the West Indies
a person of West Indian descent
Usage note
Using West Indian to refer to people of this ancestry living in Britain may cause offence. Possible alternatives are Black and Afro-Caribbean

West Indies

noun (functioning as singular or pl)
an archipelago off Central America, extending over 2400 km (1500 miles) in an arc from the peninsula of Florida to Venezuela, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean: consists of the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas; largest island is Cuba. Area: over 235 000 sq km (91 000 sq miles) Also called the Caribbean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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west indian in Culture

West Indies definition

Archipelago between North America and South America curving from southern Florida to Venezuela.

Note: It is a popular resort area.
Note: Several of the islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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