former name of Kiribati.
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British Dictionary definitions for gilbert islands
a group of islands in the W Pacific: with Banaba, the Phoenix Islands, and three of the Line Islands they constitute the independent state of Kiribati; until 1975 they formed part of the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands; achieved full independence in 1979. Pop: 82 902 (2005). Area: 295 sq km (114 sq miles)
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