country on a group of islands in the W Pacific Ocean, east of the Caroline Islands: formerly a Japanese mandate & formerly (1947-86) part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands: 70 sq mi (181 sq km); pop. 43,000; cap. Dalap-Uliga-Darrit
after John Marshall, Brit explorer (1788)
See Marshall Islands in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A self-governing island group in the central Pacific Ocean. Inhabited by Micronesian peoples, the islands were sighted by Spanish explorers in the early 16th century and were governed by Spain and Germany until 1920, when they became a Japanese mandate. From 1947 they were part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, during which time the United States carried out nuclear tests on Enewetak and Bikini atolls. The islands became self-governing in 1979 and attained free association status with the United States in 1986. Majuro is the capital. Population: 61,800.