The Mediterranean is the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the islands in it, and their associated cultures. This area has historically been one of the most important in human civilization (See history of the Mediterranean).
The term is also used as an abbreviation for the Mediterranean Sea itself.
A mediterranean climate is one that resembles those of lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Such a climate is warm, with rainfall concentrated in the winter months. The subtropical western coasts of continental landmasses typically enjoy such climates. Examples include California, Western Australia and Cape Province.