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archipelago

[ahr-kuh-pel-uh-goh] /ˌɑr kəˈpɛl əˌgoʊ/
noun, plural archipelagos, archipelagoes.
1.
a large group or chain of islands:
the Malay Archipelago.
2.
any large body of water with many islands.
3.
the Archipelago, the Aegean Sea.
Origin
1495-1505
1495-1505; alteration (archi- for arci-) of Italian arcipelago, alteration of Egeopelago the Aegean Sea < Greek Aigaîon pélagos
Related forms
archipelagic
[ahr-kuh-puh-laj-ik] /ˌɑr kə pəˈlædʒ ɪk/ (Show IPA),
archipelagian
[ahr-kuh-puh-ley-jee-uh n, -juh n] /ˌɑr kə pəˈleɪ dʒi ən, -dʒən/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for archipelagic

archipelago

/ˌɑːkɪˈpɛlɪˌɡəʊ/
noun (pl) -gos, -goes
1.
a group of islands
2.
a sea studded with islands
Derived Forms
archipelagic (ˌɑːkɪpəˈlædʒɪk), archipelagian (ˌɑːkɪpəˈleɪdʒɪən) adjective
Word Origin
C16 (meaning: the Aegean Sea): from Italian arcipelago, literally: the chief sea (perhaps originally a mistranslation of Greek Aigaion pelagos the Aegean Sea), from archi- + pelago sea, from Latin pelagus, from Greek pelagos
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 archipelagic
archipelago
c.1500, from It. arcipelago "the Aegean Sea" (13c.), from Gk. arkhipelagos, from arkhi- "chief" (see archon) + pelagos "sea." Aegean Sea being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in It. to "any sea studded with islands." Etymologists, noting the absence of arkhipelagos in ancient or Med.Gk. (the modern word in Gk. is borrowed from It.) believe it is an It. mistake for Aigaion pelagos "Aegean Sea" (M.L. Egeopelagus), or influenced by that name.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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archipelagic in Science
archipelago
  (är'kə-pěl'ə-gō')   
  1. A large group of islands.

  2. A sea, such as the Aegean, or an area in a sea containing a large number of scattered islands.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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archipelagic in Culture
archipelago [(ahr-kuh-pel-uh-goh)]

A group of islands near one another.

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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