British Isles

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Satellite image showing most of the British Isles.


Proper noun[edit]

the British Isles pl

  1. (geography) A group of islands off the northwest coast of mainland Europe, including Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, the Isle of Man, the Outer Hebrides, the Inner Hebrides, the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands and many other smaller islands. Use may include the Channel Islands, although these are physically closer to mainland Europe.

Usage notes[edit]

The term is sometimes seen as politically outdated, particularly in relation to Ireland, because the majority of Ireland is no longer (since 1922) part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


See Thesaurus:British Isles.