Definition of Polynesian in English:


Line breaks: Poly|nes¦ian
Pronunciation: /pɒlɪˈniːʒən
, -ˈniːzɪən/


  • Relating to Polynesia, its people, or their languages.
    More example sentences
    • This language feature is unknown among European languages but common among Polynesian ones.
    • In the Polynesian language Tokelauan, one uses a circumfix - that is, a kind of ‘earphone’ consisting of a prefix AND a suffix - to indicate reciprocity.
    • Many Polynesian languages face an uncertain future.


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  • 1A native or inhabitant of Polynesia, or a person of Polynesian descent.
    More example sentences
    • In Hawaii, these commercial hybrids are quite distinct from many Saccharum officinarum canes still in existence that were brought to the islands and cultivated by the native Polynesians.
    • Settlers have brought many changes to the Hawaiian Islands, beginning with the degradation of the native lowlands when the Polynesians arrived more than 1,000 years ago.
    • And at this point you maybe thinking that collapses are something that befall only Polynesians and Native Americans, we Europeans would surely never make such mistakes.
  • 2 [mass noun] A group of Austronesian languages spoken in Polynesia, including Maori, Hawaiian, and Samoan.
    More example sentences
    • Yup, thanks to satellite television, my daughter now speaks Polynesian.
    • Our word tattoo comes from Polynesian, and it is the traditional ‘tatau’ from midriff to knees which Lafaele etches into men's bodies; a rite of passage for many young Samoans.
    • The word tattoo, derived from tau-tau (tap tap), however, is Polynesian brought to Europe by Captain Cook from Tahiti in 1769.

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