1. an archipelago in the W Pacific Ocean, E of New Guinea; important World War II battles; politically divided between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
2. an independent country comprising the larger, SE part of this archipelago: a former British protectorate; gained independence in 1978. 152,000; 11,458 sq. mi. (29,676 sq. km). Cap.: Honiara (on Guadalcanal).