Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


An archipelago from above.


From Italian arcipelago, formed on the basis of Ancient Greek ἀρχι- (arkhi-, main) + πέλαγος (pélagos, sea), a designation for the Aegean Sea. The Aegean Sea is a sea with many islands; the term Arcipelago, originally a proper noun referring to the Aegean Sea, was first generalized to a common noun for any sea with many islands, and then to the islands in such a sea.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɑːkɪˈpɛləɡəʊ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌɑɹkɪˈpɛləˌɡoʊ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ar‧chi‧pe‧la‧go


archipelago (plural archipelagos or archipelagoes)

  1. (collective) A group of islands.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      For many years past the whaleship has been the pioneer in ferreting out the remotest and least known parts of the earth. She has explored seas and archipelagoes which had no chart, where no Cook or Vancouver had ever sailed.
  2. (by extension) Something scattered around like an archipelago.
    The Gulag Archipelago

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]



archipelago m (plural archipelagos)

  1. Obsolete spelling of arquipélago (used in Portugal until September 1911 and died out in Brazil during the 1920s).