Micronesia (from , mikrós, "small" + , nēsos, "island") is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a shared cultural history with two other island regions, Polynesia to the east and Melanesia to the south.
There are four main archipelagos along with numerous outlining islands. Micronesia is divided politically into five sovereign states and three U.S. territories. The region has a tropical marine climate, and is part of the Oceania ecozone.
Micronesia began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers. The earliest known contact with Europeans occurred in 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan reached the Marianas. The coinage of the term "Micronesia" is usually attributed to Jules Dumont d'Urville's usage in 1832, however Domeny de Rienzi had used the term a year previously.