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[oh-ey-sis] /oʊˈeɪ sɪs/
noun, plural oases
[oh-ey-seez] /oʊˈeɪ siz/ (Show IPA)
a small fertile or green area in a desert region, usually having a spring or well.
something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, difficult, etc.:
The library was an oasis of calm in the hectic city.
Origin of oasis
1605-15; < Late Latin < Greek óasis (Herodotus) < Egyptian wḥʾt oasis, oasis region
Related forms
[oh-uh-sit-ik] /ˌoʊ əˈsɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
oasal, oasean
[oh-ey-see-uh n] /oʊˈeɪ si ən/ (Show IPA),
2. haven, harbor, retreat, shelter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for oases
  • Tidy, well-regulated shops would line the streets, with trees and parks as green oases between them.
  • Several oases in the volatile south-west have been under a tight security regime for more than three years.
  • So skip the open-air furnace on the valley floor and visit two of the park's only oases.
  • There was no central urban planning and the result is a city of oases, each divided from the other by lanes of traffic.
  • In an otherwise hot and sparse environment, palm oases are a luxuriant gift of shade and solace.
  • Or make it your goal to hike to all five of the park's fan palm oases.
  • Small plots of trees may also be scattered inside oases to stabilize the area.
  • Ironwoods function as oases of fertile and sheltered habitat within a harsh and challenging desert landscape.
  • The few oases in the desert and the vegetation in the mountains at the top are in red.
  • In the dry season, when the floor of the glades checks in the sun, these holes are oases.
British Dictionary definitions for oases


noun (pl) -ses (-siːz)
a fertile patch in a desert occurring where the water table approaches or reaches the ground surface
a place of peace, safety, or happiness in the midst of trouble or difficulty
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek, probably of Egyptian origin


trademark a block of light porous material, used as a base for flower arrangements
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oases



1610s, from French oasis (18c.) and directly from Late Latin oasis, from Greek oasis, probably from Hamitic (cf. Coptic wahe, ouahe "oasis," properly "dwelling place," from ouih "dwell"). The same Egyptian source produced Arabic wahah.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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oases in Science
Plural oases (ō-ā'sēz)
A small area in a desert that has a supply of water and is able to support vegetation. An oasis forms when groundwater lies close enough to the surface to form a spring or to be reached by wells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Related Abbreviations for oases


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The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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