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:
“In all things I would have the island of a man inviolate. Let us sit apart as the gods, talking from peak to peak all round Olympus. No degree of affection need invade this religion.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“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)
“When the inhabitants of some sequestered island first descry the big canoe of the European rolling through the blue waters towards their shores, they rush down to the beach in crowds, and with open arms stand ready to embrace the strangers. Fatal embrace! They fold to their bosoms the vipers whose sting is destined to poison all their joys; and the instinctive feeling of love within their breasts is soon converted into the bitterest hate.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)