Definition of Polynesian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpäləˈnēZHən/


Relating to Polynesia, its people, or their languages.
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.


1A native or inhabitant of Polynesia, or a person of Polynesian descent.
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.
2A group of Austronesian languages spoken in Polynesia, including Maori, Hawaiian, and Samoan.
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.

Words that rhyme with Polynesian

Melanesian, Micronesian

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Pol·y·ne·sian

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