• synonyms


[puh-nin-suh-luh, -nins-yuh-luh]
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  1. an area of land almost completely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the mainland.
  2. the Peninsula,
    1. Spain and Portugal together; Iberian Peninsula; Iberia.
    2. a district in SE Virginia between the York and James rivers: Civil War battles.
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Origin of peninsula

1530–40; < Latin paenīnsula, equivalent to paen- pen- + īnsula island
Related formspen·in·su·lar, adjectivepen·in·su·lar·ism, pen·in·su·lar·i·ty [puh-nin-suh-lar-i-tee, -nins-yuh-] /pəˌnɪn səˈlær ɪ ti, -ˌnɪns yə-/, nountrans·pen·in·su·lar, adjective
Can be confusedcape peninsula promontory
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for peninsula


  1. a narrow strip of land projecting into a sea or lake from the mainland
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Derived Formspeninsular, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin, literally: almost an island, from paene pene- + insula island


The noun peninsula is sometimes confused with the adjective peninsular: the Iberian peninsula (not peninsular)


  1. the Peninsula short for the Iberian Peninsula
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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 peninsula


1530s, from Latin pæninsula "a peninsula," literally "almost an island," from pæne "almost" + insula "island" (see isle). Earlier translated as demie island.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

peninsula in Science


  1. A piece of land that projects into a body of water and is connected with a larger landmass.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

peninsula in Culture


A body of land enclosed on three sides by water, jutting out from a larger body of land.

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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.