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[jah-vuh or especially for 2, jav-uh] /ˈdʒɑ və or especially for 2, ˈdʒæv ə/
the main island of Indonesia. 51,032 sq. mi. (132,173 sq. km).
(usually lowercase) Slang. coffee:
a cup of java.
Digital Technology. the proprietary name of a high-level, object-oriented programming language used primarily to build web-based applications.
Origin of Java
1550-60; of obscure origin; possibly from Sanskrit yāvadvīpa, yāvaka dvīpa “barley island” (the island was well known for the barley plant) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Java
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of the Asiatic islands Java has the largest and oldest railroad system.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • It is the same with the puzes of Java, the girls in the Japanese tea-houses, etc.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • I was steering for Java—another blessed name—like Bankok, you know.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • In August the Java was launched at Baltimore before 20,000 spectators.

  • There would be the Java coast within two or three miles, off Angier Point.

    The Secret Sharer Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for Java


an island of Indonesia, south of Borneo, from which it is separated by the Java Sea: politically the most important island of Indonesia; it consists chiefly of active volcanic mountains and is densely forested. It came under Dutch control in 1596 and became part of Indonesia in 1949. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Capital: Jakarta. Pop (with Madura): 121 352 608 (2000 est). Area: 132 174 sq km (51 032 sq miles) Former spelling Djawa


trademark a programming language especially applicable to the Internet
Word Origin
C20: named after Java coffee, said to be consumed in large quantities by the language's creators
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Java



1850, originally a kind of coffee grown on Java and nearby islands of modern Indonesia. By early 20c., coffee generally. The island name is shortened from Sanskrit Yavadvipa "Island of Barley," from yava "barley" + dvipa "island."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Java in Culture
Java [(jah-vuh)]

Island in Indonesia, south of Borneo.

Note: Java is one of the world's most densely populated regions.
Note: It was under Dutch rule from 1619 to 1949.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for Java




[1907+; fr Java, an Indonesian island whence some coffee was exported]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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