"India and adjacent regions and islands," 1550s, plural of Indie, Indy, from Middle English Ynde (early 13c.), the usual word in Middle English for "India," from the Old French form of Latin India (see India). Commonly applied to Asia and the East generally; later in a time of geographical confusion, it was applied to the Caribbean basin, which was distinguished from Asia proper by being called the West Indies.
updated on November 12, 2015
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