Definition of Maldives in US English:


(also Maldive Islands)

proper noun

  • A country consisting of a chain of coral islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka; population 364,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Maldivian; capital, Male.

    The islands were probably first settled from southern India and Sri Lanka, but later came under Arab influence. A British protectorate from 1887, the Maldives became independent within the Commonwealth of Nations under the rule of a sultan in 1965 and then as a republic in 1968