"piece of land almost surrounded by water but connected with a mainland by a neck or isthmus," 1530s, from Latin paeninsula "a peninsula," literally "almost an island," from pæne "nearly, almost, practically," which is of uncertain origin, + insula "island" (see isle). In 16c. sometimes Englished as demie island.
The Peninsular War was the successful military operations in Spain and Portugal 1808-14 by the British and allied local forces, largely under Wellington, to drive the French from the Iberian peninsula. The Peninsular Campaign in the American Civil War was the unsuccessful attempt by the Army of the Potomac, under McClellan, in the spring and early summer of 1862 to capture Richmond, Va., by advancing up the peninsula between the Rappahannock and James rivers.
the mountainous peninsula between the Adriatic and Black seas (including Greece), probably from Turkic.
mountain on the peninsula in the Red Sea between Africa and Arabia, an important site in the Old Testament; it is named perhaps for Sin, a moon goddess worshipped by Sumerians, Akkadians, and ancient Arabs. The name was extended to the whole peninsula. As an adjectival form, Sinaic is by 1769, Sinaitic by 1786.
federation comprising the southern end of the Malay peninsula (except Singapore) and the northwestern part of Borneo, from Malay + Latinate ending -ia. Originally an early 19c. British geographers' name for the Indonesian archipelago. Related: Malaysian.
peninsula near the head of the Adriatic Sea, Latin Istria, from Istaevones, name of a Germanic people there, of unknown origin. Related: Istrian (c. 1600).
peninsula south of Thrace, from Greek khersonesos "peninsula," from khersos "dry land" + nēsos "island," also "(flooded) land near a river, alluvial land," which is of uncertain origin; traditionally from PIE root sna- "to swim," but this is now generally rejected. "As words for 'island' differ from language to language, [nēsos] is probably an Aegean loan (note that Lat. insula is also of unclear origin)" [Beekes]. Compare isle.
peninsula-state in the Persian Gulf, probably from Arabic katran "tar, resin," in reference to petroleum. The Romans knew it as Catara. Related: Qatari.
"native of the Malay peninsula or the adjecent islands," also "the language of the Malays," 1590s, from native (Austronesian) name Malayu. As an adjective from 1779; the earlier adjective form was Malayan (1660s).