noun \ō-ˈā-səs\

: an area in a desert where there is water and plants

: a pleasant place that is surrounded by something unpleasant

: a time or experience that is pleasant and restful

plural oa·ses \-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of OASIS

:  a fertile or green area in an arid region (as a desert)
:  something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast

Examples of OASIS

  1. The small park is a welcome oasis amid the city's many factories.
  2. Our brief trip to the beach was a much-needed oasis in a summer of hard work.

Origin of OASIS

Late Latin, from Greek
First Known Use: 1613

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Fertile tract of land that occurs in a desert wherever a permanent supply of fresh water is available. Oases vary in size from about 2.5 acres (1 hectare) around small springs to vast areas of naturally watered or irrigated land. Underground water sources account for most oases; their springs and wells are supplied from sandstone aquifers whose intake areas may be more than 500 mi (800 km) away. Two-thirds of the population of the Sahara live in oases, where the date palm is the main source of food; the palm also provides shade for growing citrus fruits, figs, peaches, apricots, vegetables, and cereal grains.


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