republic in the Malay Archipelago, consisting of Java, Sumatra, W New Guinea, most of Borneo, & many smaller nearby islands: formerly, until 1945, the Netherlands East Indies, an overseas territory of the Netherlands: became fully independent in 1949: 741,100 sq mi (1,919,440 sq km); cap. Jakarta
Formerly Dutch East Indies.
A country of southeast Asia in the Malay Archipelago including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, parts of Borneo, New Guinea, and Timor, and many smaller islands. First settled by Austronesian-speaking peoples from the Asian mainland, the islands were the site of kingdoms allied with India before the arrival of Arab traders who introduced Islam, which became the dominant religion after the 1300s. The Dutch East Indies Company controlled the territory from 1602 to 1799, when authority was turned over to the government of the Netherlands. In 1945 Indonesia declared its independence, which was finally achieved in 1949. Jakarta, on Java, is the capital and the largest city.
- Country in Southeast Asia. Official name: Republic of Indonesia.
OriginSee also: indonèsia
From Ancient Greek Ἰνδός (Indos, “Indus River”) + νῆσος (nēsos, “island”)