An island /ˈaɪlənd/ or isle /ˈaɪl/ is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or an island in a lake may be called an eyot /ˈaɪ.ət/ (also ait /ˈeɪt/), or holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago.
An island may still be described as such despite the presence of an artificial land bridge, for example Singapore and its causeway, or the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a wide land bridge, such as Coney Island. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal, it is generally not considered an island.
There are two main types of islands: continental islands and oceanic islands. There are also artificial islands.
Famous quotes containing the word island:
“We approached the Indian Island through the narrow strait called Cook. He said, I xpect we take in some water there, river so high,never see it so high at this season. Very rough water there, but short; swamp steamboat once. Dont paddle till I tell you, then you paddle right along. It was a very short rapid. When we were in the midst of it he shouted paddle, and we shot through without taking in a drop.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I ... would rather be in dependance on Great Britain, properly limited, than on any nation upon earth, or than on no nation. But I am one of those too who rather than submit to the right of legislating for us assumed by the British parliament, and which late experience has shewn they will so cruelly exercise, would lend my hand to sink the whole island in the ocean.”
—Thomas Jefferson (17431826)
“This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.”
—Aneurin Bevan (18971960)