[mah-aw-ree, -oh-ree, mou-ree, mah-ree]
noun, plural Ma·o·ris, (especially collectively) Ma·o·ri for 1.
  1. a member of the native Polynesian population of New Zealand.
  2. a Polynesian language, the language of the Maoris.
  1. of or relating to the Maoris or their language. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for maori


  1. plural -ri or -ris a member of the people living in New Zealand and the Cook Islands since before the arrival of European settlers. They are descended from Polynesian voyagers who migrated in successive waves from the ninth century onwards
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
  1. of or relating to this people or their language
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 maori


"Polynesian inhabitant of New Zealand," 1843, native name, said to mean "of the usual kind."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper