[ oh-kuh-nou-wuh, -nah-wuh; Japanese aw-kee-nah-wah ]

  1. the largest of the Ryukyu Islands, in the N Pacific, SW of Japan: taken by U.S. forces April–June 1945 in the last major amphibious campaign of World War II. 544 sq. mi. (1,409 sq. km).

Other words from Okinawa

  • O·ki·na·wan, adjective, noun

Words Nearby Okinawa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Okinawa in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Okinawa


/ (ˌəʊkɪˈnɑːwə) /

  1. a coral island of SW Japan, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands in the N Pacific: scene of heavy fighting in World War II; administered by the US (1945–72); agricultural. Chief town: Naha. Pop: 1 318 218 (2000). Area: 1176 sq km (454 sq miles)

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

Cultural definitions for Okinawa


[ (oh-kuh-nah-wuh, oh-kuh-now-uh) ]

Island in the western Pacific Ocean; part of Japan.

Notes for Okinawa

During World War II, American forces seized the island from Japan in a particularly bloody campaign. It was returned to Japan in 1972.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.