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1. A sea with a cluster of islands.
2. A group of islands, or an area of sea containing a group of islands.

The islands of an archipelago are usually volcanic in origin, and they sometimes represent the tops of peaks in areas around continental margins flooded by the sea.

3. Etymology: from Italian arcipelago, "the Aegean Sea" (13th century), from Greek arkhipelagos, from arkhi-, "chief" + pelagos, "sea".

The Aegean Sea being full of island chains, the meaning was extended in Italian to "any sea studded with islands".

The Aegean archipelago lies between Greece and Turkey.

This entry is located in the following units: arch- (page 1) Geology or Related Geological Terms + (page 4)