[ mel-uh-nee-zhuh, -shuh ]
/ ˌmɛl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə /


one of the three principal divisions of Oceania, comprising the island groups in the S Pacific NE of Australia. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for melanesia

British Dictionary definitions for melanesia

/ (ˌmɛləˈniːzɪə) /


one of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific (the others being Micronesia and Polynesia); the SW division of Oceania: includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Louisiade, Solomon, Santa Cruz, and Loyalty Islands, which all lie northeast of Australia

Word Origin for Melanesia

C19: from Greek melas black + nēsos island; with reference to the dark skins of the inhabitants; on the model of Polynesia
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