- a group of islands in the S Pacific: a part of French Polynesia; largest island, Tahiti. (Excluding minor islands) 453 sq. mi. (1173 sq. km). Capital: Papeete.
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- a group of islands in the S Pacific: administratively part of French Polynesia; consists of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; became a French protectorate in 1843 and a colony in 1880. Pop: 214 445 (2002). Area: 1595 sq km (616 sq miles)
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