[jah-vuh or especially for 2, jav-uh]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for java

Contemporary Examples of java

Historical Examples of java

  • 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.

  • I was steering for Java—another blessed name—like Bankok, you know.


    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 for Java

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

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

Culture definitions for java



Island in Indonesia, south of Borneo.


Java is one of the world's most densely populated regions.


It was under Dutch rule from 1619 to 1949.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.