Mo·luc·cas (mə-lŭkəz) also Ma·lu·ku (mä-lk)
A group of islands of eastern Indonesia between Sulawesi and New Guinea. Inhabited by various Malay and Papuan peoples, the islands were colonized first by the Portuguese in the 1500s and later fell to the Dutch in the 1600s. The Moluccas, long known as the "Spice Islands," have historically provided much of the world's cloves, nutmeg, and mace.
Mo·luccan adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.