[ mel-uh-nee-zhuh n, -shuh n ]
/ ˌmɛl əˈni ʒən, -ʃən /


of or relating to Melanesia, its inhabitants, or their languages.


a member of any of the native peoples inhabiting Melanesia.
the Austronesian languages of Melanesia, taken collectively.

Origin of Melanesian

First recorded in 1840–50; Melanesi(a) + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for melanesian

British Dictionary definitions for melanesian

/ (ˌmɛləˈniːzɪən) /


of or relating to Melanesia, its people, or their languages


a native or inhabitant of Melanesia: generally Negroid with frizzy hair and small stature
a group or branch of languages spoken in Melanesia, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
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