[oh-shee-an-ee-uh, -ah-nee-uh]


the islands of the central and S Pacific, including Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, and traditionally Australasia. About 3,450,000 sq. mi. (8,935,500 sq. km).

Also O·ce·an·i·ca [oh-shee-an-i-kuh] /ˌoʊ ʃiˈæn ɪ kə/.
Related formsO·ce·an·i·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oceanian

Historical Examples of oceanian

  • The Oceanian group is formed of two races, the relations of which are somewhat vague.

    The Races of Man

    Joseph Deniker

British Dictionary definitions for oceanian



of or relating to Oceania or its inhabitants


a native or inhabitant of Oceania



the islands of the central and S Pacific, including Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia: sometimes also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago
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 oceanian


"southern Pacific island and Australia, conceived as a continent," 1849, Modern Latin, from French Océanie (c.1812). Apparently coined by Danish geographer Conrad Malte-Brun (1755-1826). Earlier in English as Oceanica (1832). Oceania was the name of one of the superstates in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Oceanea, name of James Harrington's 17c. ideal state, later was applied to the British empire.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper