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An island group of French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean east of Samoa. The group is made up of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands. Long inhabited by Polynesian peoples and first visited by Europeans in the early 1600s, the islands were claimed for France by Louis Antoine de Bougainville in 1768 and named by Capt. James Cook in 1769. They became a French protectorate in 1843 and a part of the overseas territory of French Polynesia in 1946.
(Placename) a group of islands in the S Pacific: administratively part of French Polynesia; consists of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; became a French protectorate in 1843 and a colony in 1880. Pop: 214 445 (2002). Area: 1595 sq km (616 sq miles)
a group of islands in the S Pacific: a part of French Polynesia; largest island, Tahiti. 142,270; 650 sq. mi. (1683 sq. km). Cap.: Papeete.
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|Noun||1.||Society Islands - an island group of French Polynesia in the South Pacific to the east of Samoa|
Tahiti - an island in the south Pacific; the most important island in French Polynesia; made famous by Robert Louis Stevenson and Paul Gauguin