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kanaka Syllabification: ka·nak·a
Pronunciation: /kəˈnäkə/

Definition of kanaka in English:


1A native of Hawaii.
Example sentences
  • The formula endorsed by kanakas and haoles alike is to divide by two: A 6-foot island wave is about 12 feet high.
  • As the nineteenth century drew to a close, disputes arose between the Kanaka and those of foreign descent.
1.1 historical A Pacific Islander employed as an indentured laborer in Australia, especially in the sugar and cotton plantations of Queensland.
Example sentences
  • Kanakas had been aboard the first exploration and trading ships to reach the Pacific Northwest Coast.
  • During the late 1860s and early 1870s, "recruiters" ranged the South Seas in search of kanakas to work Queensland sugar and cotton plantations.
  • Concurrently several of us were off the map hanging with the kanakas out in the Sandwich Islands.


Hawaiian, literally 'man'.

Definition of kanaka in:
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