- (used with a plural verb) Also called the Indies. an archipelago in the N Atlantic between North and South America, comprising the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas.
- (used with a singular verb) Federation of. Also called West Indies Federation. a former federation (1958–62) of the British islands in the Caribbean, comprising Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Windward and Leeward island colonies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- of or relating to the West Indies, its inhabitants, or their language or culture
- native to or derived from the West Indies
- a native or inhabitant of the West Indies
- a person of West Indian descent
Using West Indian to refer to people of this ancestry living in Britain may cause offence. Possible alternatives are Black and Afro-Caribbean
- an archipelago off Central America, extending over 2400 km (1500 miles) in an arc from the peninsula of Florida to Venezuela, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean: consists of the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas; largest island is Cuba. Area: over 235 000 sq km (91 000 sq miles)Also called: the Caribbean
It is a popular resort area.
Several of the islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
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.