Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • The islands of the southern Pacific Ocean, including Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea.
  • Broadly, all of Oceania.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geography, a general name for Australia, Papua, Tasmania, and the neighboring islands.
  • noun In zoögeog., a division comprising the islands and insular groups south of Asia: synonymous with Austrogæa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and neighbouring islands
  • proper noun all of Oceania

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the South Pacific

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The name was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes 1756. He derived it from the Latin for “south of Asia

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