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Polynesia

[pol-uh-nee-zhuh, -shuh] /ˌpɒl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə/
noun
1.
one of the three principal divisions of Oceania, comprising those island groups in the Pacific lying E of Melanesia and Micronesia and extending from the Hawaiian Islands S to New Zealand.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Polynesia

Polynesia

/ˌpɒlɪˈniːʒə; -ʒɪə/
noun
1.
one of the three divisions of islands in the Pacific, the others being Melanesia and Micronesia: includes Samoa, Society, Marquesas, Mangareva, Tuamotu, Cook, and Tubuai Islands, and Tonga
Word Origin
C18: via French from poly- + Greek nēsos island
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 Polynesia
n.

1758, Latinization of French polynésie, coined 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses (1709-1777) in "Histoire des navigations aux terres australes, contenant ce que l'on sait des moeurs et des productions des contrées découvertes jusqu'à ce jour" (and first in English in a review of it), coined from Greek polys "many" (see poly-) + nesos "island" (see Chersonese). Related: Polynesian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Polynesia in Culture

Polynesia definition


Group of islands in the central and southern Pacific Ocean, including the islands of the state of Hawaii and the islands of French Polynesia. Tahiti and Samoa are in Polynesia, which means “many islands.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for Polynesia

the beliefs and practices of the indigenous peoples of the ethnogeographic group of Pacific Islands known as Polynesia (from Greek poly 'many' and nesoi 'islands'). Polynesia encompasses a huge triangular area of the east-central Pacific Ocean. The triangle has its apex at the Hawaiian Islands in the north and its base angles at New Zealand (Aotearoa) in the west and Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the east. It also includes (from northwest to southeast) Tuvalu, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), American Samoa, Tonga, Niue, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia (Tahiti and the other Society Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Austral Islands, and the Tuamotu Archipelago, including the Gambier Islands [formerly the Mangareva Islands]), and Pitcairn Island. At the turn of the 21st century, about 70 percent of the total population of Polynesia resided in Hawaii

Learn more about Polynesia with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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