Mo·​ri·​o·​ri ˌmȯr-ē-ˈȯr-ē How to pronounce Moriori (audio)
plural Moriori or Morioris
: a member of a Polynesian people native to the Chatham Islands of New Zealand
: the Polynesian language of the Moriori people

Examples of Moriori in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New Zealand enacted a government program called Karanga Aotearoa in 1990 to retrieve and repatriate the remains of its indigenous people, the country’s Māori, and the Moriori who inhabit the Chatham Islands. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 14 June 2023 Māori and Moriori believe this return to their homelands will restore dignity to both the dead people and their living descendants. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 14 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Moriori.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Maori

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Moriori was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near Moriori

Cite this Entry

“Moriori.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!