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1.a volcanic island in the Caribbean; in the West Indies
2.(MeSH)Islands lying between southeastern North America and northern South America, enclosing the Caribbean Sea. They comprise the Greater Antilles (CUBA; DOMINICAN REPUBLIC; HAITI; JAMAICA; and PUERTO RICO), the Lesser Antilles (ANTIGUA and the other Leeward Islands, BARBADOS; MARTINIQUE and the other Windward Islands, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES; VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES, and the islands north of Venezuela which include TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO), and the BAHAMAS. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1330)
Aeri de Montserrat • Agriculture in Montserrat • Air Montserrat • Chief Minister of Montserrat • Coat of arms of Montserrat • Demographics of Montserrat • Economy of Montserrat • Education in Montserrat • Elections in Montserrat • Flag of Montserrat • Geography of Montserrat • Governor of Montserrat • Index of Montserrat-related articles • Joaquín de Montserrat, marqués de Cruillas • LGBT rights in Montserrat • Legislative Council of Montserrat • List of Montserrat national football team results • List of Speakers of the Legislative Council of Montserrat • List of airports in Montserrat • List of birds of Montserrat • List of fish on stamps of Montserrat • List of mammals of Montserrat • List of political parties in Montserrat • List of rivers of Montserrat • List of television stations in Montserrat • List of volcanoes in Montserrat • Llibre Vermell de Montserrat • Monistrol de Montserrat • Montserrat (MBTA station) • Montserrat (disambiguation) • Montserrat (given name) • Montserrat (mountain) • Montserrat Abbey • Montserrat Abello i Soler • Montserrat Caballè • Montserrat Caballé • Montserrat Carulla • Montserrat Championship • Montserrat College of Art • Montserrat Creole • Montserrat Democratic Party • Montserrat Figueras • Montserrat Football Association • Montserrat Galliwasp • Montserrat García Riberaygua • Montserrat Gibert • Montserrat Gil Torné • Montserrat Grases • Montserrat Hidalgo • Montserrat Lombard • Montserrat Olivier • Montserrat Oriole • Montserrat Pujol • Montserrat Rack Railway • Montserrat Tomé • Montserrat Tura i Camafreita • Montserrat at the 2002 Commonwealth Games • Montserrat at the 2006 Commonwealth Games • Montserrat at the Commonwealth Games • Montserrat in World War I • Montserrat national football team • Montserrat volcano • Montserrat, Buenos Aires • Montserrat, Valencia • Music for Montserrat • Music of Montserrat • National Progressive Party (Montserrat) • National Song (Montserrat) • Nil Montserrat • Olesa de Montserrat • Our Lady of Montserrat Church, Madrid • Outline of Montserrat • Plymouth, Montserrat • Politics of Montserrat • Royal Montserrat Police Force • Santa Maria de Montserrat • Scouting and Guiding in Montserrat • Telecommunications in Montserrat • Transport in Montserrat • Virgin of Montserrat
Descripteurs EUROVOC (fr)[Thème]
Mer des Caraïbes (fr)[Thème]
Montserrat (n.) [MeSH]
|Motto: "Each Endeavouring, All Achieving"|
|Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
|Capital||Plymouth (de jure) 1
Brades (de facto)
|Ethnic groups||West African, Mulatto Creoles, British, Irish|
|Government||British Overseas Territory (constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democratic dependency)|
|-||Monarch||H.M. Queen Elizabeth II|
|British overseas territory|
|-||English control established||1632|
|-||Total||102 km2 (219th)
39 sq mi
|-||2008 estimate||5,879 (218th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2002 estimate|
|-||Total||$99 million (not ranked)|
|-||Per capita||$3,400 (not ranked)|
|HDI||n (unranked) (n/a)|
|Currency||East Caribbean dollar (
|1||Abandoned in 1997 following a volcanic eruption. Government buildings are currently located in Brades, making it the de facto capital.|
|2||An estimated 8,000 refugees left the island following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; few have returned.|
Montserrat ( //) is an island that is a British overseas territory located in the Leeward Islands, part of the chain of islands called the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. The island of Montserrat measures approximately 16 km (9.9 mi) long and 11 km (6.8 mi) wide, with approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) of coastline. Montserrat is nicknamed the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean both for its resemblance to coastal Ireland and for the Irish ancestry of some of its inhabitants.
Montserrat's Georgian era historic capital city of Plymouth was destroyed and two-thirds of the island's population was forced to flee because of eruptions from the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano which became active on July 18, 1995. The volcanic activity continues to the present, the affected areas currently being mostly in the vicinity of Plymouth, including its docking facilities, and also on the eastern side of the island in the area around the former W. H. Bramble Airport, the remnants of which were buried by flows from volcanic activity on February 11, 2010.
An "exclusion zone" extending from the south coast of the island north to parts of the Belham Valley has been imposed because of the size of the existing volcanic dome and the resulting potential for pyroclastic activity. Presently visitors are not permitted entry into the exclusion zone, but an impressive view of the destruction of Plymouth can be seen from the top of Garibaldi Hill in Isles Bay. Relatively quiet since early 2010, the volcano continues to be closely monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
While construction proceeds, the centre of government rests at Brades, as a nearby new town develops at Little Bay, the new port, in the northwest of the island.
Montserrat was populated by Arawak and Carib native people when it was claimed by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, naming the island Santa Maria de Montserrat, after the Monastery of Montserrat in Catalonia. The island fell under English control in 1632 when anti-Catholic violence in Nevis forced a group of Irish, many of whom had been unwillingly transported from Ireland as indentured servants, to settle in Montserrat. A neo-feudal colony developed. The importation of African slaves, common to most Caribbean islands, began early and an economy based on sugar, rum, arrowroot and Sea Island cotton was established using slave labour. By the late 1700s there were many plantations on the island. Many Irish people were also taken as slaves to the island, some of whom were political prisoners taken there by Oliver Cromwell.
In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War, Montserrat was briefly captured by France. It was returned to Great Britain under the Treaty of Paris which ended that conflict. A failed slave uprising on March 17, 1768 led to the celebration of St Patrick's Day as a public holiday in Montserrat, and festivities held that week celebrate the culture of Montserrat, through songs, dances, and traditional costumes and foods. Slavery was abolished in Montserrat in 1834.
Falling sugar prices during the nineteenth century had an adverse effect on the island's economy, and in 1857 the British philanthropist Joseph Sturge bought a sugar estate to prove it was economically viable to employ paid labour rather than slaves.
Various members of the Sturge family bought additional land and in 1869 established the Montserrat Company Limited and planted lime trees, started the commercial production of lime juice, set up a school, and sold parcels of land to the inhabitants of the island, with the result that much of Montserrat came to be owned by smallholders.
From 1871 to 1958 Montserrat was administered as part of the federal crown colony of the British Leeward Islands, becoming a province of the short-lived West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962. In 1979, The Beatles producer George Martin’s AIR Studios Montserrat opened and the island attracted world-famous musicians who came to record in the peaceful, quiet and lush tropical surroundings of Montserrat. The last decade of the 20th century, however, brought two events which devastated the island.
In the early hours of September 17, 1989 Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 storm, struck Montserrat with full force producing sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and damaging over 90 percent of the structures on the island. AIR Studios closed, and the tourist economy upon which the island depended was virtually wiped out. Within a few years the island had recovered considerably—only to be struck again by disaster in 1995.
In July 1995, Montserrat's Soufriere Hills volcano, dormant for centuries, rumbled to life and began an eruption which eventually buried the island's capital, Plymouth, in more than 12 metres (39 ft) of mud, destroyed its airport and docking facilities, and rendered the southern part of the island (the "exclusion zone") uninhabitable and not safe to travel in. The southern part of the island was evacuated and visits are severely restricted. The exclusion zone also includes two sea areas adjacent to the land areas that have seen the most volcanic activity.
Following the destruction of Plymouth, more than half of the population left the island because of the economic disruption and lack of housing. After a period of regular eruptive events during the late 1990s, including one on June 25, 1997 in which nineteen people died when they were overtaken by a pyroclastic flow, subsequently for a number of years the volcano's activity consisted mostly of infrequent ventings of ash into the uninhabited areas in the south. The ash falls occasionally extended into the northern and western parts of the island.
The most recent period of increased activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano, from November 2009 through February 2010, saw ash venting, a vulcanian explosion which sent pyroclastic flows down several sides of the mountain, and on February 11, 2010 a partial collapse of the lava dome that sent a column of ash more than 20,000 feet (6,100 m) into the air, raining down on several nearby islands including Guadeloupe and Antigua. Since 2010, the volcano has been relatively quiet.
Despite the volcanic activity, a large part of Montserrat remains lush and green. In February 2005, The Princess Royal officially opened a new airport at Gerald's in the north (renamed the John A. Osborne Airport); As of 2011[update] it handles several flights daily operated by Fly Montserrat Airways. Docking facilities are in place at Little Bay, where a new capital town is being constructed. The new government centre is at Brades, a short distance away.
The people of Montserrat were granted full residency rights in the United Kingdom in 1998, and British citizenship was granted in 2002.
Montserrat is divided into three parishes:
Only Saint Peter Parish is currently inhabited, having a population of between 4,000 and 6,000. Saint Peter Parish covers the north-west of the island, and was therefore least affected by the eruptions of Soufrière Hills, the island's volcano. The other two are too dangerous to live in because, as of 2012, the volcano is still active.
Villages and towns that are within the safe zone are shown in boldface. The villages and towns that are known to be within the exclusion zone are shown in parentheses, since they cannot be accessed and are abandoned. Also see List of settlements abandoned after the 1997 Soufrière Hills eruption.
The island of Montserrat is located approximately 480 km (300 mi) east-southeast of Puerto Rico and 48 km (30 mi) southwest of Antigua. It comprises 104 km2 (40 sq mi) but is currently gradually increasing in size owing to the buildup of volcanic deposits on the southeast coast. The island is 16 km (9.9 mi) long and 11 km (6.8 mi) wide, with rock cliffs rising 15 to 30 m (50–100 feet) above the sea and a number of smooth bottomed sandy beaches scattered among coves on the western (Caribbean) side of the island.
Montserrat has two islets, Little Redonda and Virgin, and Statue Rock.
Montserrat, like many isolated islands, is home to some exceptionally rare plant and animal species. Work undertaken by the Montserrat National Trust in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has centred on the conservation of pribby (Rondeletia buxifolia) in the Centre Hills region. Until 2006, this species was known only from one book about the vegetation of Montserrat. In 2006, conservationists also rescued several plants of the endangered Montserrat orchid (Epidendrum montserratense) from dead trees on the island and installed them in the security of the island’s botanic garden.
Montserrat is also home to the Critically Endangered Giant Ditch Frog (Leptodactylus fallax), known locally as the Mountain Chicken, found only in Montserrat and Dominica. The species has undergone catastrophic declines due to the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis and the volcanic eruption in 1997. Experts from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust have been working with the Montserrat Department of Environment to conserve the frog in-situ in a project called "Saving the Mountain Chicken", and an ex-situ captive breeding population has been set up in partnership with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Zoological Society of London, North of England Zoological Society, Parken Zoo and the Governments of Montserrat and Dominica. Releases from this programme have already taken place in a hope to increase the numbers of the frog and reduce extinction risk from the ever present Chytridiomycosis.
Montserrat is known for its coral reefs and its caves along the shore. These caves house many species of bats, and efforts are underway to monitor and protect the ten species of bats from extinction.
From 1979 to 1989 Montserrat was home to a branch of George Martin's AIR Studios which made the island popular with working musicians who often went there to record while taking advantage of the island's climate and beautiful surroundings.
Since the devastations of Hurricane Hugo and the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano, the Montserratian economy has been effectively halted. Export businesses currently based in Montserrat deal primarily in the selling and shipping of aggregate for construction. Imports include virtually everything available for sale on the island.
The island's operating budget is largely supplied by the British government and administered through the Department for International Development (DFID) amounting to approximately £25 million per year. Additional amounts are secured through income and property taxes, license and other fees as well as customs duties levied on imported goods.
Population: 5,879 (2008 estimate)
Note: an estimated 8,000 refugees left the island (primarily to the UK) following the resumption of volcanic activity in July 1995; few have returned. Pre-eruption population was 13,000 in 1994.
Population growth rate: 6.9% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 17.57 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate: 7.34 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate: 195.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Life expectancy at birth:
Total fertility rate: 1.8 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Ethnic groups: Black, White, Mulatto, Creole. The island's population is mainly a mix of British, Irish and Africans with other minorities.
Religions: Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, Seventh-Day Adventist, other Christian denominations
Cricket is a popular sport in Montserrat. Players from Montserrat are in fact eligible to play for the West Indies cricket team. Jim Allen was the first to play for West Indies and he represented the World Series Cricket West Indians. No other player from Montserrat had gone on to represent West Indies until Lionel Baker made his One Day International debut against Pakistan in November 2008.
Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Montserrat.
Montserrat has its own FIFA affiliated football team, and has twice competed in the World Cup qualifiers. A field for the team was built near the airport by FIFA. The Montserrat team are currently tied for 203rd place in the FIFA world rankings with 4 other teams, including American Samoa and San Marino. In 2002, the team competed in a friendly match with the second-lowest-ranked team in FIFA at that time, Bhutan, in The Other Final- the same day as the final of the 2002 World Cup. Bhutan won 4-0.
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