- an island in the West Indies, comprising the republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 29,843 sq. mi. (77,293 sq. km).
- the second largest island in the Caribbean, in the Greater Antilles: divided politically into Haiti and the Dominican Republic; discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, who named it La Isla Española. Area: 18 703 sq km (29 418 sq miles)Former name: Santo Domingo
West Indian island, from Spanish la isla española “the Spanish island” (not “little Spain”); name said to have been given by Columbus in 1492.