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oxford american dictionary

noun ( pl. gos or goes)

a group of islands.
a sea or stretch of water containing many islands.

ORIGIN early 16th cent.: from Italian arcipelago, from Greek arkhi– ‘chief’ + pelagos ‘sea.’ The word was originally used as a proper name ( the Archipelago [the Aegean Sea] ): the generalization of meaning occurred because the Aegean Sea is remarkable for its large numbers of islands.

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