a self-governing island belonging to Denmark, located NE of North America: the largest island in the world. About 844,000 sq. mi. (2,186,000 sq. km); about 700,000 sq. mi. (1,800,000 sq. km) icecapped.
a large island, lying mostly within the Arctic Circle off the NE coast of North America: first settled by Icelanders in 986; resettled by Danes from 1721 onwards; integral part of Denmark (1953–79); granted internal autonomy 1979; mostly covered by an icecap up to 3300 m (11 000 ft) thick, with ice-free coastal strips and coastal mountains; the population is largely Inuit, with a European minority; fishing, hunting, and mining. Capital: Nuuk (Godthåb). Pop: 57 714 (2013 est). Area: 175 600 sq km (840 000 sq miles) Danish name Grønland Greenlandic name Kalaallit Nunaat
O.N. Groenland, so named by its discoverer (986 C.E.) because "it would induce settlers to go there, if the land had a good name": "Hann gaf nafn landinu ok kallaði Groenland, ok kvað menn þat myndu fysa þangat farar, at landit ætti nafn gott." [Islendingabok, 1122-1133]