large island off the east coast of Africa, from Mogadishu, the name of the city in Somalia, due to an error by Marco Polo in reading Arabic, whereby he thought the name was that of the island. There is no indigenous name for the whole island. Related: Madagascan.
Note: The island of Madagascar is the fourth largest in the world.
Note: Madagascar was under French control from the late nineteenth century until 1960, when it gained full independence. Its culture mixes European, African, and South Asian influences.