[ pol-uh-nee-zhuhn, -shuhn ]

  1. of or relating to Polynesia, its inhabitants, or their languages.

  1. a member of any of a number of peoples originating from and inhabiting Polynesia, and speaking closely related Austronesian languages.

  2. the easternmost group of Austronesian languages, including Maori, Tahitian, Samoan, Hawaiian, and the language of Easter Island.

Origin of Polynesian

First recorded in 1805–15; Polynesi(a) + -an

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Polynesian in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Polynesian


/ (ˌpɒlɪˈniːʒən, -ʒɪən) /

  1. of or relating to Polynesia, its people, or any of their languages

  1. a member of the people that inhabit Polynesia, generally of Caucasoid features with light skin and wavy hair

  2. a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages, including Māori and Hawaiian and a number of other closely related languages of the S and central Pacific

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