from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • 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 19th and early 20th centuries.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The islands of the Caribbean sea.
  • proper n. A Federation of Caribbean states which, together with Guyana, play Test matches as if they were a single nation.

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

  • n. the string of islands between North America and South America; a popular resort area


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • French naval squadrons were stationed in the English Channel and the French West Indies to deter the British from interfering with the operation, and efforts were made to enlist the active assistance of Spain.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • AT the beginning of the summer, the naval balance of power had been this: the English had a substantial fleet in the West Indies under Admirals George Rodney and Samuel Hood and a squadron of eight ships under Admirals Marriot Arbuthnot and Thomas Graves guarding New York.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • But on a recent getaway to the West Indies my husband, Tom, and I ventured out of our comfort zones and climbed to the top of Nevis Peak, a dormant volcano in the center of Nevis, a small island nation located about 220 miles southeast of Puerto Rico.

    CSS: Shaping the New You

  • They occupied most of one short block of Redcliff Street near the Redcliff Backs, from whence he collected his shipments of sugar from the West Indies and loaded his different sizes of casks into lighters the moment an order was paid for.

    Morgan’s Run

  • Conyngham, sailing in the Revenge, a little fourteen-gun Continental cutter, took no fewer than sixty merchant vessels in eighteen months of patrolling the waters off the West Indies and the Atlantic coast.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • Romona Olton received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, with honors, and Master of Philosophy in Chemistry from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine in 2005.

    A Book of Miracles

  • They bought slaves whom James Bowie and his business partner, Jean Lafitte, were smuggling into Louisiana from the West Indies after the prohibition of 1809.

    Jolie Blon’s Bounce

  • The French under Rochambeau—with seven regiments of infantry including three from the West Indies under Saint-Simon, a formidable 600-man artillery corps, and a legion of horse and foot—formed the left.

    Angel in the Whirlwind

  • America and the West Indies and upon returning to the United States, accepted the chair of English Literature at Poydras College,

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • She was about to ring for a messenger to despatch it when her eye fell on a paragraph in the evening paper which lay at her elbow: “Mr. Lawrence Selden was among the passengers sailing this afternoon for Havana and the West Indies on the Windward Liner Antilles.”

    The House of Mirth


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.