• synonyms


[pap-yoo-uh n]
  1. of or relating to New Guinea or to Papua New Guinea.
  2. noting or pertaining to the indigenous black peoples of New Guinea, characterized by a black or dark brown complexion and crisp, frizzled hair.
  3. of or relating to any of the unaffiliated languages indigenous to New Guinea and other islands nearby, especially Timor, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Moluccas, and the Solomons.
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  1. a native or inhabitant of New Guinea or Papua New Guinea.
  2. any of the Papuan languages.
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Origin of Papuan

First recorded in 1805–15; Papu(a) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for papuan

Historical Examples of papuan

  • Was he not going to preach on behalf of the Papuan Mission next Sunday?

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope

  • The poor Papuan goes all his days beset by the Powers of Darkness.

  • The Papuan, on the other hand, has a face which we may say is compressed and projecting.

    The Malay Archipelago

    Alfred Russell Wallace

  • There is the pure Papuan, who has been largely merged in the Kei type.

  • Its inhabitants are Papuan thorough-bred, of the brown variety.

    The Woodlands Orchids

    Frederick Boyle

British Dictionary definitions for papuan


  1. of or relating to Papua or any of the languages spoken there
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  1. a native or inhabitant of Papua New Guinea
  2. any of several languages of Papua New Guinea that apparently do not belong to the Malayo-Polynesian family
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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