from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • An island country in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka, consisting of about 20 atolls made up of more than 2,000 coral islands. Settled by various groups from southern Asia, the islands were converted to Islam in the 1100s. The Maldives became a self-governing British protectorate in 1887 and achieved independence as a sultanate (1965) and subsequently as a republic (1968). Male is the capital.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun An island country in South Asia. Official name: Republic of the Maldives.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a group of about 1,200 small coral islands (about 220 inhabited) in the Indian ocean
  • noun a republic on the Maldive Islands; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1965


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

"Malé Islands", from Malé, the name of the main island (of uncertain etymology), plus -diva, -dive, "island", probably related to Sanskrit द्वीप (dvīpa) "island".


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