Rhode Island, island, 15 mi (24 km) long and 5 mi (8 km) wide, S R.I., at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. It is the largest island in the state, with steep cliffs and excellent beaches. Known to the Native Americans and early colonials as Aquidneck əkwĭd´nĕk [key], it was renamed Rhode Island (probably after the isle of Rhodes) in 1644. Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth are on the island.
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