Polynesia

[pol-uh-nee-zhuh, -shuh]
noun
  1. one of the three principal divisions of Oceania, comprising those island groups in the Pacific lying E of Melanesia and Micronesia and extending from the Hawaiian Islands S to New Zealand.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of polynesia


British Dictionary definitions for polynesia

Polynesia

noun
  1. one of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific, the others being Melanesia and Micronesia: includes Samoa, Society, Marquesas, Mangareva, Tuamotu, Cook, and Tubuai Islands, and Tonga

Word Origin for Polynesia

C18: via French from poly- + Greek nēsos island
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 polynesia

Polynesia

n.

1758, Latinization of French polynésie, coined 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses (1709-1777) in "Histoire des navigations aux terres australes, contenant ce que l'on sait des moeurs et des productions des contrées découvertes jusqu'à ce jour" (and first in English in a review of it), coined from Greek polys "many" (see poly-) + nesos "island" (see Chersonese). Related: Polynesian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

polynesia in Culture

Polynesia

Group of islands in the central and southern Pacific Ocean, including the islands of the state of Hawaii and the islands of French Polynesia. Tahiti and Samoa are in Polynesia, which means “many islands.”

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.