Pronunciation: (mâr'ē-an'u, mar'-, mâr"-, mar"-; Sp. mä"rē-ä'nä), [key]
a group of 15 small islands in the Pacific, E of the Philippines: divided into Guam, a possession of the U.S., and the North Marianas, formally under U.S. trusteeship. 453 sq. mi. (1127 sq. km). Also called Mar"i•an'as. Formerly, Ladrone Islands, Ladrones. Cf. North Mariana Islands.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.