• WordNet 3.6
    • adj Melanesian of or relating to Melanesia or its people or culture
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • prop. a Melanesian Of or pertaining to Melanesia.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • Melanesian Of or belonging to Melanesia or a race inhabiting it.
    • n Melanesian A native of Melanesia, a collection of islands in the western part of the Pacific, including New Caledonia, the Fiji Islands, Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, New Britain, etc. (some geographers include Papua and extend the term to comprise some of the lesser islands of the Malay archipelago); a member of one of the black or dark-brown races inhabiting the Melanesian islands. In race and language the Melanesians appear to have affinities with both the Papuans and the Polynesians.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. me`las me`lanos, black + island. Melanesia, was so called from the dark complexion of the natives


In literature:

Melanesians, unlike cattle, are as prone to stampede to attack as to retreat.
"Jerry of the Islands" by Jack London
These boys are Melanesians.
"Adventure" by Jack London
Tambo is Melanesian for taboo, and is first cousin to that Polynesian word.
"South Sea Tales" by Jack London
In this the ancient was in nowise unlike the rest of his dark-skinned Melanesian race.
"Michael, Brother of Jerry" by Jack London
The Melanesians have reduced this kind of magic to a system.
"Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1" by Andrew Lang
This was perhaps a modification of the Melanesian custom of secluding girls at puberty.
"Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I." by Sir James George Frazer
In Polynesians, Chinese, Melanesians and negroes five tubercles are found on this tooth in 90 per cent.
"More Science From an Easy Chair" by Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
The languages belong to the Melanesian and Polynesian classes.
"Two Years with the Natives in the Western Pacific" by Felix Speiser
CODRINGTON, R. H. The Melanesians, Index, s.v.
"Introduction to the History of Religions" by Crawford Howell Toy
The Melanesians of the South Pacific consider it a very fine delicacy.
"A World by the Tale" by Gordon Randall Garrett
For nearly six years the Melanesian Mission remained without a bishop, under the faithful leadership of Dr. Codrington.
"A History of the English Church in New Zealand" by Henry Thomas Purchas
Being a black, a Melanesian, he was as much an alien in brown Fufuti as any white.
"Where the Pavement Ends" by John Russell
This 'taboo' is found in Japanese, Melanesian, and Red Indian accounts of the homes of the dead.
"Custom and Myth" by Andrew Lang
They wear a minimum of covering, but, unlike the Melanesians, are strictly decent, while they are more moral than the Polynesians.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 10, Slice 3" by Various
The Papuan languages are entirely distinct from the Melanesian.
"Man, Past and Present" by Agustus Henry Keane
The Routledge Expedition reported, in 1919, that the inhabitants are of mixed Polynesian and Melanesian origin.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia" by Various
A coincidence of personal habit, between the Andaman islander and the Melanesian, is also observed.
"Odd People" by Mayne Reid
The divine mythology of the Melanesians, as far as it has been recovered, is meagre.
"Myth, Ritual And Religion, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Andrew Lang
The key to the Melanesian system of government is Ancestor-worship.
"The Fijians" by Basil Thomson
It is well established that the Fijians are a mixed people, derived mainly from Melanesian and Polynesian sources.
"A Racial Study of the Fijians" by Norman E. Gabel