Definition of Melanesian in English:


Syllabification: Mel·a·ne·sian
Pronunciation: /ˌmeləˈnēZHən


  • Of or relating to Melanesia, its peoples, or their languages.
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    • This is reflected in the language of scholarship: Melanesian myth and Caledonian history.
    • Australia not only has a halo of Melanesian nations to its immediate North but part of Melanesia is actually in Australia (the Torres Strait Islands).
    • Masnick refers to Melanesian cargo cults as the actions and beliefs of people who were ‘a bit confused’ and who ‘never understood what was really happening.’


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  • 1A native or inhabitant of any of the islands of Melanesia.
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    • At the same time, other Pacific Island peoples - Melanesians and Aboriginals - independently developed their own music and dance forms.
    • The native inhabitants of Melanesia, called Melanesians, are characteristically dark-skinned with frizzy hair.
    • Now a multicultural nation, the forebears of Fiji's 352,000 dark-skinned natives - known as Melanesians - sailed in canoes from Africa before 2000 B.C.E.
  • 2Any of the languages of Melanesia, mostly Austronesian languages related to Malay but also including Neo-Melanesian (or Tok Pisin), an English-based pidgin.
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    • On German plantations and wherever individuals speaking different languages met, a pidgin language referred to as Neo-Melanesian or Melanesian Pidgin developed.
    • In this very large family there are more than a thousand languages - including Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian languages and others as far north as Formosa, but not the Papuan languages of New Guinea.
    • West Papua shares a history of Dutch colonialism with Indonesia, but, like the Timorese, its indigenous people are Melanesian and mostly Christian.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little