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[puh-nin-suh-luh, -nins-yuh-luh] /pəˈnɪn sə lə, -ˈnɪns yə lə/
an area of land almost completely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the mainland.
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.
1530-40; < Latin paenīnsula, equivalent to paen- pen- + īnsula island
Related forms
peninsular, adjective
peninsularism, peninsularity
[puh-nin-suh-lar-i-tee, -nins-yuh-] /pəˌnɪn səˈlær ɪ ti, -ˌnɪns yə-/ (Show IPA),
transpeninsular, adjective
Can be confused
cape, peninsula, promontory. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peninsulas
  • In the distance peninsulas and promontories stretch into the blue sea.
  • The other seven sites are on peninsulas that extend out into the lake, but have no hookups.
  • They inhabit both peninsulas and survive even in urban areas.
  • Lighthouses warn mariners about prominent rocks and peninsulas.
  • peninsulas are good areas to observe migrating butterflies.
British Dictionary definitions for peninsulas


a narrow strip of land projecting into a sea or lake from the mainland
Derived Forms
peninsular, adjective
Usage note
The noun peninsula is sometimes confused with the adjective peninsular: the Iberian peninsula (not peninsular)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, literally: almost an island, from paenepene- + insula island


the Peninsula, short for the Iberian Peninsula
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
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Word Origin and History for peninsulas



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peninsulas in Science
A piece of land that projects into a body of water and is connected with a larger landmass.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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peninsulas in Culture

peninsula definition

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

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