a curved chain of islands, as the Aleutians or Antilles, usually convex toward the ocean and enclosing a deep-sea basin.
CAN YOU ACE THIS QUIZ ABOUT “COMPLIMENT” VS. “COMPLEMENT”?
Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
Question 1 of 11
“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.
Origin of island arc
First recorded in 1905–10
Words nearby island arc
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for island arc
an arc-shaped chain of islands, such as the Aleutian Islands or the Japanese Islands, usually lying at the edge of a Benioff zone, indicating volcanic activity where the oceanic lithosphere is descending into the earth's interior
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
Scientific definitions for island arc
A usually curved chain of volcanic islands bounded on the convex side by a deep oceanic trench. Island arcs form in the overriding tectonic plates of subduction zones as the result of rising melt from the downgoing plate. The arcs are curved because of the curvature of the Earth. The Aleutian Islands, in Alaska, are an island arc. An island arc is a kind of volcanic arc.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.