- a group of islands in the S Pacific, the islands W of 170° W longitude constituting an independent state and the rest belonging to the U.S.
- an independent state occupying four inhabited islands and five uninhabited islands in the S Pacific archipelago of the Samoa Islands: established as a League of Nations mandate under New Zealand administration in 1920 and a UN trusteeship in 1946; gained independence as Western Samoa in 1962 as the first fully independent Polynesian state; officially changed its name to Samoa in 1997; a member of the Commonwealth. Languages: Samoan and English. Religion: Christian. Currency: tala. Capital: Apia. Pop: 195 476 (2013 est). Area: 2841 sq km (1097 sq miles)
- Also called: Samoa Islands a group of islands in the S Pacific, northeast of Fiji: an independent kingdom until the mid 19th century, when it was divided administratively into American Samoa (in the east) and German Samoa (in the west); the latter was mandated to New Zealand in 1919 and gained full independence in 1962 as Western Samoa, now called Samoa (as detailed in sense 1). Area: 3038 sq km (1173 sq miles)
an indigenous name, said to be from the name of a Polynesian chieftain, or else meaning “place of the moa.” Related: Samoan (1846, noun and adjective). A group of volcanic (see volcano) islands in the south Pacific Ocean, approximately midway between Hawaii and Sydney, Australia, making up the independent kingdom of Western Samoa and the United States territory of American Samoa.