Pap·​u·​an ˈpa-pyə-wən How to pronounce Papuan (audio)
: a native or inhabitant of Papua
: a member of any of the native peoples of New Guinea and adjacent areas of Melanesia
: any of a heterogeneous group of languages spoken in New Guinea, New Britain, and the Solomon islands
Papuan adjective

Word History

First Known Use

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Papuan was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near Papuan

Cite this Entry

“Papuan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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