[in-duh-nee-zhuh n, -shuh n, -zee-uh n, -doh-]
  1. a member of the ethnic group consisting of the natives of Indonesia, the Filipinos, and the Malays of Malaysia.
  2. a member of a population supposed to have been resident in the Malay Archipelago before the Malays, and believed to constitute one element of the present mixed population of Malaysia and perhaps Polynesia.
  3. Official name Bahasa Indonesia. an Indonesian language that is based on the form of Malay spoken in Java and has the status of official language in the Republic of Indonesia.
  4. the westernmost branch of the Austronesian family of languages, including Malay, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Malagasy.
  1. of or relating to the Malay Archipelago.
  2. of or relating to Indonesia, the Indonesians, or their languages.

Origin of Indonesian

First recorded in 1840–50; Indonesi(a) + -an
Related formspro-In·do·ne·sian, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indonesian

Contemporary Examples of indonesian

Historical Examples of indonesian

  • "I'd like to bet on the Indonesian to win," said Lindsay quietly.

    The Ambassador

    Samuel Kimball Merwin

  • There Lindsay was able to pull first the Indonesian, then the Irishman, up into the box.

    The Ambassador

    Samuel Kimball Merwin

  • Specimens previously were saved from Sarawak and Indonesian Borneo.

  • The anatomical data likewise prevent us from setting this tribe apart from the others, because of Japanese or Indonesian origin.

    The Tinguian

    Fay-Cooper Cole

  • By morning the Swift Arrow, with the vinta in tow, was in Indonesian waters far from shipping lanes or fishing grounds.

    The Pirates of Shan

    Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for indonesian


  1. of or relating to Indonesia, its people, or their language
  1. a native or inhabitant of Indonesia
  2. another name for Bahasa Indonesia
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

Word Origin and History for indonesian


1850, from Indonesia, from Indo-, comb. form of Greek Indos "India" (see India) + nesos "island" (see Chersonese). Formerly called Indian Archipelago or East Indies Islands (see Indies).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper