[ mair-ee-an-uh, mar-, mair-, mar-; Spanish mah-ree-ah-nah ]
/ ˈmɛər iˈæn ə, ˈmær-, ˌmɛər-, ˌmær-; Spanish ˌmɑ riˈɑ nɑ /
noun (used with a plural verb)
a group of 15 small islands in the Pacific, E of the Philippines: divided into Guam, a possession of the U.S., and the North Marianas, formally under U.S. trusteeship. 453 sq. mi. (1127 sq. km).
Compare North Mariana Islands.
Also called Mar·i·an·as. Formerly La·drone Is·lands [luh-drohn] /ləˈdroʊn/, La·drones [luh-drohnz; Spanish lah-th raw-nes] /ləˈdroʊnz; Spanish lɑˈðrɔ nɛs/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for mariana islands
/ (ˌmærɪˈɑːnə) /
a chain of volcanic and coral islands in the W Pacific, east of the Philippines and north of New Guinea: divided politically into Guam (a US unincorporated territory) and the islands north of Guam constituting the Northern Mariana Islands (a US commonwealth territory). Area: 1018 sq km (393 sq miles)Former name (1521–1668): Ladrone Islands
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