- a large group or chain of islands: the Malay Archipelago.
- any large body of water with many islands.
- the Archipelago, the Aegean Sea.
Origin of archipelago
Examples from the Web for archipelago
The flight path remained close to the Indonesian archipelago, well within what is the normal reach of air traffic control radar.Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501?
December 29, 2014
The largest of an archipelago of islands, Santorini is the vestige of a single volcanic landmass that erupted around 1600 BC.Book a Room for Two in a Santorini Cave
June 10, 2014
Power has withered at the center and devolved to an archipelago of fiefdoms where warlords rule without the burdens of governing.The Curse of CAR: Warlords, Blood Diamonds, and Dead Elephants
May 25, 2014
There were three Dutch voyages to the Arctic archipelago in the 16th century.Pale Fire and the Cold War: Redefining Vladimir Nabokov’s Masterpiece
October 13, 2013
It looks out onto a harbor beyond which is this archipelago, in the Breiðafjörður, the great bay beyond.The Collector: Rebecca Solnit on Textual Pleasure, Punk, and More
July 2, 2013
It lies near the sea, as it were at the head of the Archipelago.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
They should have left the island to leeward, heading into the Caribbean and away from the archipelago.Captain Blood
The vroucolacas of Greece and the Archipelago are again revenans of a new kind.The Phantom World
In that story I had not gone back to the Archipelago, I had only turned for another look at it.Notes on My Books
Morrison knew no more of Heyst than the rest of us trading in the Archipelago did.Victory
- a group of islands
- a sea studded with islands
Word Origin and History for archipelago
c.1500, from Italian arcipelago "the Aegean Sea" (13c.), from Greek arkhipelagos, from arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + pelagos "sea" (see pelagic). The Aegean Sea being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in Italian to "any sea studded with islands." Klein, noting the absence of arkhipelagos in ancient or Medieval Greek (the modern word in Greek is borrowed from Italian) believe it is an Italian mistake for Aigaion pelagos "Aegean Sea" (Medieval Latin Egeopelagus), or influenced by that name.
- A large group of islands.
- A sea, such as the Aegean, or an area in a sea containing a large number of scattered islands.
A group of islands near one another.