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A group of islands of western Kiribati in the central Pacific Ocean. Inhabited by a mixture of Polynesian and Melanesian peoples, the islands were first visited by the British in 1765, made a protectorate in 1892, and later became part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony (1916-1976). Full independence as the principal islands of Kiribati was achieved in 1979.
(Placename) a group of islands in the W Pacific: with Banaba, the Phoenix Islands, and three of the Line Islands they constitute the independent state of Kiribati; until 1975 they formed part of the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands; achieved full independence in 1979. Pop: 82 902 (2005). Area: 295 sq km (114 sq miles)
Ki•ri•ba•ti(ˌkɪər iˈbɑ ti, ˈkɪər əˌbæs)
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|Noun||1.||Gilbert Islands - a group of islands in Micronesia to the southwest of Hawaii; formerly part of the British colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands until it became part of the Republic of Kiribati in 1979|
Makin, Tarawa-Makin, Tarawa - battles in World War II in the Pacific (November 1943); United States Marines took the islands from the Japanese after bitter fighting