Islands


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Islands: Caribbean Islands

is·land

 (ī′lənd)
n.
1. Abbr. Isl. or Is. or I. A landmass, especially one smaller than a continent, entirely surrounded by water.
2. Something resembling an island, especially in being isolated or surrounded, as:
a. An unattached kitchen counter providing easy access from all sides.
b. A raised curbed area, often used to delineate rows of parking spaces or lanes of traffic.
c. The superstructure of a ship, especially an aircraft carrier.
3. Anatomy A cluster of cells differing in structure or function from the cells constituting the surrounding tissue.
tr.v. is·land·ed, is·land·ing, is·lands
To make into or as if into an island; insulate: a secluded mansion, islanded by shrubbery and fences.

[Alteration (influenced by isle) of Middle English ilond, from Old English īegland : īg, īeg; see akw-ā- in Indo-European roots + land, land; see lendh- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: It may seem hard to believe, but Latin aqua, "water," is related to island, which originally meant "watery land." Aqua comes almost unchanged from Indo-European *akwā-, "water." *Akwā- became *ahwō- in Germanic by Grimm's Law and other sound changes. To this was built the adjective *ahwjō-, "watery." This then became *awwjō- or *auwi-, which in pre-English became *ēaj-, and finally ēg or īeg in Old English. Island, spelled iland, first appears in Old English in King Alfred's translation of Boethius about ad 888; the spellings igland and ealond appear in contemporary documents. The s in island is due to a mistaken etymology, confusing the etymologically correct English iland with French isle. Isle comes ultimately from Latin īnsula "island," a component of paenīnsula, "almost-island," whence our peninsula.

Islands

(ˈaɪləndz)
pl n
(Placename) the Islands NZ the islands of the South Pacific
References in classic literature ?
OWYHEE, or Hawaii, as it is written by more exact orthographers, is the largest of the cluster, ten in number, of the Sandwich Islands.
However, on the 11th of December we sighted the Pomotou Islands, the old "dangerous group" of Bougainville, that extend over a space of 500 leagues at E.
Therefore, in hopes to defray some of the charges he must be at, he bought a sloop, loaded it with several sorts of goods, wherewith the Tonquinese usually trade to the neighbouring islands, and putting fourteen men on board, whereof three were of the country, he appointed me master of the sloop, and gave me power to traffic, while he transacted his affairs at Tonquin.
I CAN never forget the eighteen or twenty days during which the light trade-winds were silently sweeping us towards the islands.
From time to time we landed at various islands, where we sold or exchanged our merchandise, and one day, when the wind dropped suddenly, we found ourselves becalmed close to a small island like a green meadow, which only rose slightly above the surface of the water.
And it was so in all the other islands that he visited.
I have no doubt it is a peculiar species and confined to this archipelago; because many sealers Gauchos, and Indians, who have visited these islands, al maintain that no such animal is found in any part of Sout America.
You observe those small islands outside of the port; land your balloon on one of them; surround it with a guard of sailors, and you will have no risk to run.
Westward of the shores of America, a wide space of open ocean extends, with not an island as a halting-place for emigrants; here we have a barrier of another kind, and as soon as this is passed we meet in the eastern islands of the Pacific, with another and totally distinct fauna.
As I had a boat, my next design was to make a cruise round the island; for as I had been on the other side in one place, crossing, as I have already described it, over the land, so the discoveries I made in that little journey made me very eager to see other parts of the coast; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing round the island.
Then they sent a message down to the Doctor to say that they would have to take a rest soon; and that they would pull the boat over to an island not far off, and hide it in a deep bay till they had got breath enough to go on.
Looking at them, it was hard to believe that they were the hands of the woman who had once been the belle of Island McGill.