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U.S. state, the region is traditionally said to have been named by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano when he passed through in 1524, based on an imagined similarity between modern Block Island and the Greek Isle of Rhodes. More likely from Roodt Eylandt, the name Dutch explorer Adriaen Block gave to Block Island c.1614, literally "red island," so called for the color of its cliffs. Under this theory, the name was altered by 17c. English settlers by influence of the Greek island name (see Rhodes), and then extended to the mainland part of the colony. Block Island later (by 1685) was renamed for the Dutch explorer.
State in the northeastern United States; one of the New England states. Bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Connecticut to the west. Its capital and largest city is Providence.
Note: One of the thirteen colonies.
Note: After he was banished from Massachusetts for speaking out in favor of religious toleration, Roger Williams established the first settlement in the area at Providence in the early seventeenth century.
Note: Rhode Island is the smallest state of the United States.