- a group of eight islands off the NW coast of Africa, part of Portugal. 308 sq. mi. (798 sq. km). Capital: Funchal.
- the chief island of this group. 286 sq. mi. (741 sq. km).
- (often lowercase) a rich, strong white or amber wine, resembling sherry, made there.
- (often lowercase) a similar wine made elsewhere.
- a river in W Brazil flowing NE to the Amazon: chief tributary of the Amazon. 2100 miles (3380 km) long.
- a group of volcanic islands in the N Atlantic, west of Morocco: since 1976 an autonomous region of Portugal; consists of the chief island, Madeira, Porto Santo, and the uninhabited Deserta and Selvagen Islands. Capital: Funchal. Pop: 245 012 (2001). Area: 797 sq km (311 sq miles)
- a river in W Brazil, flowing northeast to the Amazon below Manaus. Length: 3241 km (2013 miles)
- a rich strong fortified white wine made on Madeira
n.white wine, 1540s, from island of Madeira in the Atlantic, from Portuguese madeira “wood,” because the island formerly was thickly wooded, from Latin materia “wood, matter” (see matter).