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:
“The very best place to be in all the world is St. Marys parish, Jamaica. And the best spot in St. Marys is Port Maria, though all of St. Marys is fine. Old Maker put himself to a lot of trouble to make that part of the island of Jamaica, for everything there is perfect.”
—Zora Neale Hurston (18911960)
“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)
“The shifting islands! who would not be willing that his house should be undermined by such a foe! The inhabitant of an island can tell what currents formed the land which he cultivates; and his earth is still being created or destroyed. There before his door, perchance, still empties the stream which brought down the material of his farm ages before, and is still bringing it down or washing it away,the graceful, gentle robber!”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)