[muh-jel-uh n]


Ferdinand,c1480–1521, Portuguese navigator: discoverer of the Straits of Magellan 1520 and the Philippines 1521.
Strait of, a strait near the S tip of South America between the mainland of Chile and Tierra del Fuego and other islands, connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific. 360 miles (580 km) long; 2½–17 miles (4–27 km) wide.

Related formsMag·el·lan·ic [maj-uh-lan-ik] /ˌmædʒ əˈlæn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magellan

Contemporary Examples of magellan

  • She takes us back to the pivotal moments that earned a place in history for such trailblazers as Magellan and Balboa.

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    Lizzie Crocker

    November 9, 2011

Historical Examples of magellan

British Dictionary definitions for magellan




Strait of Magellan a strait between the mainland of S South America and Tierra del Fuego, linking the S Pacific with the S Atlantic. Length: 600 km (370 miles). Width: up to 32 km (20 miles)




Ferdinand. Portuguese name Fernão de Magalhães. ?1480–1521, Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain. He commanded an expedition of five ships that set out to sail to the East Indies via the West. He discovered the Strait of Magellan (1520), crossed the Pacific, and reached the Philippines (1521), where he was killed by natives. One of his ships reached Spain (1522) and was therefore the first to circumnavigate the world
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

Word Origin and History for magellan


anglicized name of Portuguese navigator Fernão de Magalhães (c.1470-1521).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper