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Related to West Indies: East Indies
An archipelago between southeast North America and northern South America, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and including the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahama Islands. The original inhabitants were Caribs and Arawaks. Several of the islands were sighted and explored by Columbus during his voyages of 1492-1504. The first permanent European settlement was made by the Spanish on Hispaniola in 1496. During the colonial period the English, French, and Dutch also laid claim to various islands, and the United States acquired Puerto Rico and part of the Virgin Islands in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
West Indian adj. & n.
n (functioning as singular or plural)
(Placename) an archipelago off Central America, extending over 2400 km (1500 miles) in an arc from the peninsula of Florida to Venezuela, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean: consists of the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas; largest island is Cuba. Area: over 235 000 sq km (91 000 sq miles). Also called: the Caribbean
1. (used with a pl. v.) Also called the Indies. an archipelago in the N Atlantic between North and South America, comprising the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas.
2. Federation of. Also called West′ In′dies Federa′tion. a former federation (1958–62) of the British islands in the Caribbean, comprising Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Windward and Leeward island colonies.
West′ In′dian, n., adj.
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|Noun||1.||West Indies - the string of islands between North America and South America; a popular resort area|
Anguilla - a British colony in the West Indies
Caribbean - region including the Caribbean Islands
Cayman Islands - a British colony in the Caribbean to the northwest of Jamaica; an international banking center
Montserrat - a volcanic island in the Caribbean; in the West Indies
British West Indies - the islands in the West Indies that were formerly under British control, including the Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad
Antilles - a group of islands in the West Indies
French West Indies - the islands in the Lesser Antilles that are administered by France
Virgin Islands - a group of islands in northeastern West Indies (east of Puerto Rico) discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493; owned by United States and Britain
Trinidad - an island in West Indies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela
Tobago - island in West Indies
Bahama Islands, Bahamas, Commonwealth of the Bahamas - island country in the Atlantic to the east of Florida and Cuba; a popular winter resort
Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east
Anguillan - a native or inhabitant of the island of Anguilla in the West Indies
West Indian - a native or inhabitant of the West Indies