A peninsula (Latin: paeninsula from paene "almost" and insula "island") is a piece of land surrounded by water on the majority of its border, while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. Examples are the upper and lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan, the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Niagara peninsula. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though not necessarily named as a single body of water. Peninsulas are not always named as such; one can also be a headland, cape, island promontory, bill, point, or spit. A point is generally considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape. A river which courses through a very tight meander is also sometimes said to form a "peninsula" within the (almost closed) loop of water. In English, the plural of peninsula is peninsulas or, less commonly, peninsulae.
Peninsulas can be found on coastlines and in smaller bodies of water throughout the world, ranging in scale from square meters to millions of square kilometers. Some major peninsulas are:
- Labrador Peninsula
- Alaska Peninsula
- Olympic Peninsula
- Florida Peninsula
- Baja California Peninsula
- Yucatán Peninsula
- Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, ed. (2004). Word Histories and Mysteries: From Abracadabra to Zeus. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 216. ISBN 978-0547350271. OCLC 55746553.
- "pen·in·su·la". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Definition of peninsula". Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "Definition of peninsula". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
- "List of peninsulas". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.