the second-largest island in the Mediterranean: forms, with offshore islands, an administrative region of Italy; ceded to Savoy by Austria in 1720 in exchange for Sicily and formed the Kingdom of Sardinia with Piedmont; became part of Italy in 1861. Capital: Cagliari. Pop: 1 637 639 (2003 est). Area: 24 089 sq km (9301 sq miles)Italian name: Sardegna
large island west of Italy, Latin, from Greek Sardo; perhaps named for the local Iberian people who settled there; the original form and meaning of the name is lost. A Punic (Phoenician) stelle from 7c. B.C.E. refers to it as Shardan. The oblique cases are sometimes Sardonos, etc., as if from *Sardon. Related: Sardinian.