Definition of kanaka in English:


Syllabification: ka·nak·a
Pronunciation: /kəˈnäkə


  • 1A native of Hawaii.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

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