Definition of Polynesian in English:


Pronunciation /ˌpäləˈnēZHən/ /ˌpɑləˈniʒən/

Translate Polynesian into Spanish


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

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Melanesian and Polynesian peoples settled the Fijian islands some 3,500 years ago.’
    • ‘If the reverse is true that trading voyages originated from South America and went across Polynesia, one would expect to find male South American lineages in Polynesian populations and there is no report of that yet.’
    • ‘What do you see as the essential difference between Polynesian hip-hop and American hip-hop?’
    • ‘Perhaps the Minister could tell the Committee whether the name comes from elsewhere in Polynesia, because I am not sure whether Pua-hoku is a Maori name or is from another Polynesian language.’
    • ‘Maori belongs to the Tahitic branch of the Eastern Polynesian language group.’
    • ‘With the exception of a few Polynesian outliers, the languages spoken among the islanders of Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and the coral atolls of Yap State are classified as Nuclear Micronesian.’
    • ‘The military ethnic classification for active duty personnel places Tongans and Tahitians in the Polynesian category.’
    • ‘There are now only 47 people on Pitcairn, a community founded by nine mutineers from the Bounty, their Polynesian consorts and six Polynesian men in 1790.’
    • ‘Before Cook's arrival, movement between islands of the country was regular and often involved people from other Melanesian and Polynesian islands.’
    • ‘There are find tables, genealogies, articles and databases covering everything from Greek myth to Polynesian creation stories, arranged by continent.’
    • ‘The majority of people speak Tuvaluan, a Polynesian language, except for the inhabitants of Nui who speak a mainly Gilbertese dialect.’
    • ‘Lashing is an ancient Pacific language that was used to interpret the environment and represented Polynesian philosophies, says Filipe.’
    • ‘An Australian biotech corporation has purchased the exclusive global rights to the entire gene pool of the people of Tonga, a Polynesian nation of some 110,000 people.’
    • ‘Mid-century Americans flocked to trendy new Polynesian restaurants, to sip exotic drinks served in mugs shaped like miniature Easter Island heads and topped with colorful paper umbrellas.’
    • ‘I think those who are, shall we say, defending them, are saying it's unfair to apply 20th century British law to this isolate Polynesian community in the South Pacific.’
    • ‘Common mythology insists that the modern European tattoo was adopted as a variant of Polynesian custom.’
    • ‘Her in-depth study of Polynesian art will ensure that the shop's section of Polynesian art will be well looked after.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Polynesia, or a person of Polynesian descent.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The Polynesians are the original inhabitants of a vast string of islands in the Pacific Ocean, from New Zealand in the south to Hawaii in the north.’
    • ‘Hawaii probably had 1,765 species of native plants when the Polynesians first arrived, and over 90% of them were found nowhere else.’
    • ‘The Maori, the inhabitants of New Zealand when Cook arrived there, were descendants of the Polynesians who arrived in the islands around ad 800.’
    • ‘Life is hard for the descendants of the Polynesians and crew members of the Bounty.’
    • ‘Many of the Polynesians, newly-arrived in New Zealand, experienced difficulty with the jargon and format of the social security forms and so, almost every week, there would be a new arrival seeking Dad's help with the paperwork.’
    • ‘The new power brokers who run the government, mass media, and mass education institutions are still suppressing any knowledge that the people who founded the New Zealand culture of today were not Polynesians or Europeans but British.’
    • ‘Using the unique DNA of Polynesians, Autogen Limited plans to link their genes to certain diseases and then engineer drugs that could put hundreds of millions of dollars into its own corporate coffers.’
    • ‘Nine thousand people live on these nine atolls, 95 percent of whom are Polynesians, having arrived variously from Samoa, Tonga, and Uvea over the past 2,000 years.’
    • ‘Brando foresaw the atoll being handed on to future generations of his children, ‘many of whom are, or will be, Polynesian, so that this property, to a large extent, will be owned by Polynesians in the future’.’
    • ‘The whites-only policy continued - at first even Japanese war brides were banned and thousands of Asians and Polynesians who had found shelter here during the war were deported.’
    • ‘It was settled by other Polynesians coming from the west, sometime around AD800 and it was so remote that after Polynesians arrived at Easter Island, nobody else arrived there.’
    • ‘The use of fish also raises the point that it is easier and cheaper for Polynesians to buy canned fish rather than to catch their own, thus devastating one of their great traditions and removing them from nature.’
    • ‘With a population of some 4000 Polynesians, 40 Europeans and 50 tourists, Tahaa makes Papeete seem like Manhattan.’
    • ‘Yesterday was something of a red-letter day for the tiny island of Samoa, a speck in the Pacific Ocean that is home to a quarter of a million Polynesians who punch way over their weight in sporting terms.’
    • ‘The court is regularly used by a mixture of Anglos, Koreans, Polynesians, and Armenians and by a Nigerian contingent who live in North Parramatta.’
    • ‘That's what Polynesians call the fruit they're made from.’
    • ‘Anglo's, Polynesians and Arabs probably made up the majority.’
  • 2A group of Austronesian languages spoken in Polynesia, including Maori, Hawaiian, and Samoan.

    ‘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.’