- country on a group of islands in the SW Pacific, east of New Guinea: formerly a British protectorate, it became independent & a member of the Commonwealth in 1978: 10,985 sq mi (28,450 sq km); cap. Honiara
- group of islands including the islands of this country, Bougainville, and other islands belonging to Papua New Guinea: c. 16,000 sq mi (41,440 sq km)
Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands
- An island group of the western Pacific Ocean east of New Guinea. Inhabited primarily by Melanesian peoples since at least 2000 BC, these volcanic islands were first visited by European explorers in the 1560s and were divided between Germany and Great Britain in the late 1800s. Australia assumed control of the northern islands in 1920. Today the northern Solomons are part of Papua New Guinea. The southern islands are an independent country.
- A country comprising the Solomon Islands southeast of Bougainville. European planters and missionaries began arriving in the 1800s. The islands became a British protectorate beginning in 1893. The islands became self-governing in 1976 and achieved independence in 1978. Honiara, on Guadalcanal Island, is the capital.x
After King Solomon, whose mines of immense wealth Ãlvaro de MendaÃ±a y Neira hoped to find when he named it in 1567 or 1568.