group of Greek islands in the Aegean, off the SW coast of Turkey: 1,048 sq mi (2,714 sq km); pop. 163,000
An island group of southeast Greece in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Crete. The name means “12 islands,” although there are also several islets. The islands were held by Turkey from 1522 until 1912.
- An island chain consisting of twelve main islands including Rhodes, its capital.
From Ancient Greek Δωδεκάνησα (dodekanesos, “twelve islands”), from δώδεκα (dodeka, “twelve”) + νήσος (nesos, “island”).