Pacific Islands


pl n

a former Trust Territory; an island group in the W Pacific Ocean, mandated to Japan after World War I and assigned to the US by the United Nations in 1947: comprised 2141 islands (96 inhabited) of the Caroline, Marshall, and Mariana groups (excluding Guam). In 1978 the Northern Marianas became a commonwealth in union with the US. The three remaining entities consisting of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau (or Belau), and the Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing during the period 1979–80. In 1982 they signed agreements of free association with the US. Land area: about 1800 sq km (700 sq miles), scattered over about 7 500 000 sq km (3 000 000 sq miles) of ocean

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Cultural definitions for Pacific Islands

Pacific Islands

Consisting of the Caroline Islands, the Marshall Islands, and the Marianas Islands, covering a vast area of the Pacific Ocean, including more than two thousand islands and islets. Held by the United States under United Nations trusteeship.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.