archipelago in southeast Asia at the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, from Spanish Islas Filipinas, literally "the islands of Philip," named 1542 by Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos in honor of Philip, Prince of Asturias, who was later Philip II, king of Spain. Related: Philippine. Other early names for then in Spanish included Islas del Poniente "Islands of the West."
updated on May 18, 2020
Dictionary entries near Philippines