archipelago (n.) c.1500, from It. arcipelago "the Aegean Sea" (13c.), from Gk. arkhipelagos, from arkhi- "chief" (see ARCHON (Cf. archon)) + pelagos "sea" (see PELAGIC (Cf. pelagic)). The Aegean Sea being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in Italian to "any sea studded with islands." Klein, noting the absence of arkhipelagos in ancient or Medieval Greek (the modern word in Greek is borrowed from Italian) believe it is an Italian mistake for Aigaion pelagos "Aegean Sea" (M.L. Egeopelagus), or influenced by that name.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Archipelago — Ar chi*pel a*go, n.; pl. { goes} or { gos}. [It. arcipelago, properly, chief sea; Gr. pref ? + ? sea, perh. akin to ? blow, and expressing the beating of the waves. See {Plague}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The Grecian Archipelago, or [AE]gean Sea,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archipelago — ► NOUN (pl. archipelagos or archipelagoes) ▪ an extensive group of islands. ORIGIN from Greek arkhi chief + pelagos sea (originally a name for the Aegean Sea, notable for its large number of islands) …   English terms dictionary

  • archipelago — [är΄kə pel′ə gō΄] n. pl. archipelagoes or archipelagos [It arcipelago < MGr archipelagos, orig., the Aegean Sea < Gr archi , chief + pelagos, sea: see PELAGIC] 1. a sea with many islands 2. a group or chain of many islands archipelagic… …   English World dictionary

  • archipelago — archipelagic /ahr keuh peuh laj ik/, archipelagian /ahr keuh peuh lay jee euhn, jeuhn/, adj. /ahr keuh pel euh goh /, n., pl. archipelagos, archipelagoes. 1. a large group or chain of islands: the Malay Archipelago. 2. any large body of water… …   Universalium

  • Archipelago — An archipelago (PronEng|ɑrkəˈpɛləgoʊ) is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago literally means chief sea , from Italian arcipelago (IPA|artʃiˈpelago) , derived ultimately from Greek arkhon ( arkhi ) ( leader ) and pelagos ( sea ).… …   Wikipedia

  • archipelago — noun (plural goes or gos) Etymology: Archipelago Aegean Sea, from Italian Arcipelago, literally, chief sea, from arci (from Latin archi ) + Greek pelagos sea more at plagal Date: 1589 1. an expanse of water with many scattered islands …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • archipelago — noun /ɑːkɪˈpɛləɡəʊ,ɑːrkəˈpɛləɡoʊ/ a) A group of islands. The Gulag Archipelago b) Something scattered around like an archipelago. See Also: archipelagic …   Wiktionary

  • archipelago — [[t]ɑ͟ː(r)kipe̱ləgoʊ[/t]] archipelagos, archipelagoes (plural) N COUNT An archipelago is a group of islands, especially small islands. ...the Azores, a rugged, volcanic archipelago of nine islands …   English dictionary

  • archipelago — UK [ˌɑː(r)kɪˈpeləɡəʊ] / US [ˌɑrkɪˈpeləɡoʊ] noun [countable] Word forms archipelago : singular archipelago plural archipelagos 1) a large group of small islands 2) a sea or area of ocean with many islands in it …   English dictionary

  • archipelago — ar|chi|pel|a|go [ˌa:kıˈpeləgəu US ˌa:rkıˈpeləgou] n plural archipelagos [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: Archipelago Aegean sea (16 19 centuries), from Italian, main sea , from arci (from Latin archi ; ARCH ) + Greek pelagos sea ] a group of small… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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