large island in the East Indies, north of Australia: divided between West Irian (in Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea: c. 330,000 sq mi (854,697 sq km)
Indonesian name Irian
former Australian trust territory including NE New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Bougainville, & smaller adjacent islands of the Solomons
See New Guinea in American Heritage Dictionary 4
An island in the southwest Pacific Ocean north of Australia. The western half is part of Indonesia, and the eastern half forms the major portion of Papua New Guinea. Inhabited by Papuan, Negrito, and Melanesian peoples, it was named by 16th century explorers for the Guinea coast of western Africa.
New Guinean adjective & n.
, Trust Territory of
A former trust territory of Australia consisting of northeast New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. Placed under Australian jurisdiction after World War II, it was gradually broken up between 1963 and 1973.