Melanesian

[mel-uh-nee-zhuh n, -shuh n]
noun
  1. a member of any of the native peoples inhabiting Melanesia.
  2. the Austronesian languages of Melanesia, taken collectively.

Origin of Melanesian

First recorded in 1840–50; Melanesi(a) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of melanesian


British Dictionary definitions for melanesian

Melanesian

adjective
  1. of or relating to Melanesia, its people, or their languages
noun
  1. a native or inhabitant of Melanesia: generally Negroid with frizzy hair and small stature
  2. a group or branch of languages spoken in Melanesia, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
  3. See also Neo-Melanesian
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 melanesian

Melanesian

adj.

1840, from Melanesia + -ian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper