AskDefine | Define islet

Dictionary Definition

islet n : a small island [syn: isle]

User Contributed Dictionary



From islette.


  1. a small island

Related terms


small island
  • Chinese:
    Cantonese: 小島
    Mandarin: 小岛
  • Finnish: luoto, pieni saari
  • French: îlot
  • trreq German
  • Italian: isolotto, isoletta
  • Japanese: 小島
  • Slovene: otoček
  • Swedish: holme, skär, kobbe
  • Tongan: motu

Extensive Definition

distinguish eyelet For human anatomy, see Islets of Langerhans
An islet is a small island.

Definition of Types


A "rock", sometimes a synonym for a type of "islet", is a landform composed of rock, lying offshore, having no or minimal vegetation, and uninhabited (see Mōkōlua Rock at right).


An exposed sandbar is another type of islet. A more technical application is to small land features, isolated by water, lying off the shore of a larger island. And in related fashion, any emergent land on an atoll (a type of island) is also called an islet.


As with many of these terms, the actual size limits of islets are subjective, and vary.

Synonymous Terms

  • In Scotland and Ireland, they are often called inches, from the Gaelic innis, which originally meant island, but has been supplanted to refer to smaller islands. In Ireland they are often termed skerries.
  • In the Channel Islands, they are often identified by the suffix -hou from the Norse -holmr.
  • Holm or Holmen is a common suffix too in Nordic and northern European lands ("holme" means "islet" in Norwegian).
islet in Min Nan: Hái-ta
islet in Breton: Enezennig
islet in Catalan: Illot
islet in Czech: Ostrůvek
islet in Danish: Småø
islet in German: Eiland
islet in Estonian: Laid
islet in Modern Greek (1453-): Νησίδα
islet in Spanish: Islote
islet in French: Îlot
islet in Lithuanian: Salelė
islet in Norwegian Bokmål: Holme (geografi)
islet in Norwegian Nynorsk: Holme
islet in Polish: Wysepka
islet in Portuguese: Ilhéu
islet in Swedish: Holme
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