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[oh-ey-sis] /oʊˈeɪ sɪs/
noun, plural oases
[oh-ey-seez] /oʊˈeɪ siz/ (Show IPA)
a small fertile or green area in a desert region, usually having a spring or well.
something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, difficult, etc.:
The library was an oasis of calm in the hectic city.
Origin of oasis
1605-15; < Late Latin < Greek óasis (Herodotus) < Egyptian wḥʾt oasis, oasis region
Related forms
[oh-uh-sit-ik] /ˌoʊ əˈsɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
oasal, oasean
[oh-ey-see-uh n] /oʊˈeɪ si ən/ (Show IPA),
2. haven, harbor, retreat, shelter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oasis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was an oasis of natural splendor in the heart of a calm sea of green grass.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • It fell like an oasis over the solemn company walking there.

  • The thirsty traveler in the desert places had come to the oasis of her dreams.

  • The oasis was of small extent, extending but two hundred yards across.

    At Aboukir and Acre George Alfred Henty
  • My father's tribe live in the oasis ten miles east of the old lake.

    At Aboukir and Acre George Alfred Henty
British Dictionary definitions for oasis


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
a fertile patch in a desert occurring where the water table approaches or reaches the ground surface
a place of peace, safety, or happiness in the midst of trouble or difficulty
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek, probably of Egyptian origin


trademark a block of light porous material, used as a base for flower arrangements
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 oasis

1610s, from French oasis (18c.) and directly from Late Latin oasis, from Greek oasis, probably from Hamitic (cf. Coptic wahe, ouahe "oasis," properly "dwelling place," from ouih "dwell"). The same Egyptian source produced Arabic wahah.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oasis in Science
Plural oases (ō-ā'sēz)
A small area in a desert that has a supply of water and is able to support vegetation. An oasis forms when groundwater lies close enough to the surface to form a spring or to be reached by wells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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