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[sis-uh-lee] /ˈsɪs ə li/
an island in the Mediterranean, constituting a region of Italy, and separated from the SW tip of the mainland by the Strait of Messina: largest island in the Mediterranean. 9924 sq. mi. (25,705 sq. km).
Capital: Palermo.
Italian Sicilia.
Ancient Sicilia, Trinacria.
Related forms
[si-sil-yuh n, -sil-ee-uh n] /sɪˈsɪl yən, -ˈsɪl i ən/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sicilian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Daoud sensed that the sicilian's sudden shifts of mood were calculated.

  • In reality Nick Carter looked like a sicilian bandit in hard luck.

    A Woman at Bay Nicholas Carter
  • I continued, in merciful leisure, to saturate myself in the golden glow of the sicilian poets.

    Confessions of a Book-Lover Maurice Francis Egan
  • He fixed his eyes steadfastly on the sicilian; never shall I forget that look!

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • Especially if you pick up an assortment of expletives in the sicilian vernacular.

    The Title Market Emily Post
British Dictionary definitions for sicilian


of or relating to Sicily or its inhabitants
a native or inhabitant of Sicily


the largest island in the Mediterranean, separated from the tip of SW Italy by the Strait of Messina: administratively an autonomous region of Italy; settled by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians before the Roman conquest of 241 bc; under Normans (12th–13th centuries); formed the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with Naples in 1815; mountainous and volcanic. Capital: Palermo. Pop: 4 972 124 (2003 est). Area: 25 460 sq km (9830 sq miles) Latin names Sicilia, Trinacria Italian name Sicilia
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 sicilian


island off the southwest tip of Italy, from Latin Sicilia, from Greek Sikelia, from Sikeloi (plural) "Sicilians," from the name of an ancient people living along the Tiber, whence part of them emigrated to the island that was thereafter named for them. The Greeks distinguished Sikeliotes "a Greek colonist in Sicily" from Sikelos "a native Sicilian." Related: Sicilian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sicilian in Culture

Sicily definition

Island in southern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from the Italian mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its capital is Palermo.

Note: It is the largest Mediterranean island.
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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