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An island in the northern Atlantic Ocean off northeast Canada. It is the largest island in the world and lies mostly within the Arctic Circle. Settled by the Norse between the 10th and the 15th century and by the Inuit beginning around the 10th century, Greenland became a Danish colony in the 18th century and was granted home rule in 1979. Nuuk (Godthåb) is the capital.
Green·land′ic (-lăn′dĭk) adj.
Word History: How did a glacier-covered island get the name Greenland? In Icelandic sagas written in the 12th century and later, it is told that Eric the Red explored the southeast and southwest coasts of Greenland in ad 983-986. He thought his fellow Icelanders would be more likely to go there if it had an attractive name, and he therefore called it Grænland, Icelandic for "Greenland." This was not exactly a case of false advertising. Greenland was warmer in the 10th century than it is now. There were many islands teeming with birds off its western coast, the sea was excellent for fishing, and the coast of Greenland itself had many fjords where anchorage was good. Moreover, at the head of the fjords there were enormous meadows full of grass, willows, junipers, birch, and wild berries. Icelanders set up colonies in Greenland that thrived for much of the next three hundred years. In the middle of the 14th century, however, the North Atlantic area began to cool significantly. The colonies began to die out, and they finally disappeared at the very beginning of the 15th century. Only the Inuit continued to live on the island as the climate grew progressively colder and the formerly green valleys of Greenland were covered by ice.
(Placename) a large island, lying mostly within the Arctic Circle off the NE coast of North America: first settled by Icelanders in 986; resettled by Danes from 1721 onwards; integral part of Denmark (1953–79); granted internal autonomy 1979; mostly covered by an icecap up to 3300 m (11 000 ft) thick, with ice-free coastal strips and coastal mountains; the population is largely Inuit, with a European minority; fishing, hunting, and mining. Capital: Nuuk (Godthåb). Pop: 57 714 (2013 est). Area: 175 600 sq km (840 000 sq miles). Danish name: Grønland Greenlandic name: Kalaallit Nunaat
Green•land(ˈgrin lənd, -ˌlænd)
a self-governing island belonging to Denmark located NE of North America: the largest island in the world. 58,203; ab. 840,000 sq. mi. (2,175,600 sq. km); over 700,000 sq. mi. (1,800,000 sq. km) icecapped. Cap.: Godthåb.
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|Noun||1.||Greenland - the largest island in the world; lies between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean; a self-governing province of Denmark|
Thule - a town in northwestern Greenland; during World War II a United States naval base was built there
Arctic Ocean - ice covered waters surrounding the North Pole; mostly covered with solid ice or with ice floes and icebergs
Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east
subcontinent - a large and distinctive landmass (as India or Greenland) that is a distinct part of some continent
Greenland[ˈgriːnlənd] N → Groenlandia f
Greenland[ˈgriːnlənd] n → Groenland m
n → Grönland nt