Laccadive Isles (Sanskrit, lakke, hundred thousand, and dive, island), a group of small islands in the Indian ocean, consisting of 20 clusters, 100 m. off the Malabar coast, between lat. 10° and 12° 40' N, and Ion. 72° and 74° E.; area, 744 sq. m.; pop. 6,800. They are dependencies of British India. The principal are Underoot, Cabarita Akhalu, Kalpeni, Kaltair, Cheltac, Kerdmut, Ameni, Corrittee, and Minicoy. They are all of coral formation. The largest is but 7 m. long, and many of them are barren uninhabited rocks. From the dangerous reefs around them they are seldom visited by navigators, and during the S. W. monsoon all intercourse with the mainland is cut off. The harbor most frequently called at for supplies is Kan-Rattea, lat. 10° 34' N., lon. 72° 56' E. The islands are not fertile, excepting in cocoa palms, the fruit of which forms the principal food of the inhabitants, and its fibre or coir one of the chief articles of commerce. The other products are rice, in small quantities, sweet potatoes, plantains, and betel nuts. Cows are the only quadrupeds on the islands, and they are few and of small size. The sea abounds in fish and turtles.
The natives are an inoffensive race, of Arabian origin, who profess a kind of Mohammedanism, and are called Moplays. Their dwellings are of stone, thatched. The Laccadives were discovered by Vasco da Gama in 1499.