• synonyms


[pol-uh-nee-zhuh n, -shuh n]
  1. of or relating to Polynesia, its inhabitants, or their languages.
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  1. a member of any of a number of peoples originating from and inhabiting Polynesia, and speaking closely related Austronesian languages.
  2. the easternmost group of Austronesian languages, including Maori, Tahitian, Samoan, Hawaiian, and the language of Easter Island.
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Origin of Polynesian

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

Examples from the Web for polynesian

Historical Examples

  • The languages belong to the Melanesian and Polynesian classes.

    Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific

    Felix Speiser

  • Quite a Polynesian art is the manufacture of tapa: bark cloth.

  • The verb tattoo, to adorn the skin with patterns, is Polynesian.

  • He was as proud of this as if he had taken the first prize for Polynesian at some examination!

    Godfrey Morgan

    Jules Verne

  • Also, they talked in the Polynesian tongue of Fuatino, and Brown could only sit and guess.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

British Dictionary definitions for polynesian


  1. of or relating to Polynesia, its people, or any of their languages
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  1. a member of the people that inhabit Polynesia, generally of Caucasoid features with light skin and wavy hair
  2. a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages, including Māori and Hawaiian and a number of other closely related languages of the S and central Pacific
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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