Definition of Melanesian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmɛləˈniːzɪ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /ˌmɛləˈniːʒ(ə)n/


Relating to Melanesia, its peoples, or their languages.
Example sentences
  • 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.’


1A native or inhabitant of any of the islands of Melanesia.
Example sentences
  • 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.
2 [mass noun] Any of the languages of Melanesia, mostly Austronesian languages related to Malay but also including Neo-Melanesian (or Tok Pisin), an English-based pidgin.
Example sentences
  • 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.

Words that rhyme with Melanesian

Micronesian, Polynesian

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Mela|nes¦ian

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