oa·​sis | \ ō-ˈā-səs How to pronounce oasis (audio) \
plural oases\ ō-​ˈā-​ˌsēz How to pronounce oases (audio) \

Definition of oasis

1 : a fertile or green area in an arid region (such as a desert) The caravan stopped to rest at an oasis.
2 : something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast The small park is a welcome oasis amid the city's many factories.

Examples of oasis in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The garden shop is a plant-lover’s oasis, but its greenhouse (imported from England) is the Promised Land for Instagram fiends looking to spruce up their feeds. Birmingham Magazine, al, "Birmingham magazine’s Best and Worst of Birmingham," 3 Sep. 2019 The adjacent oasis tower rises seven stories and overlooks a new pool lagoon and private pool area. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "Hard Rock guitar hotel rooms go fast for grand opening — even at $2,498 for a two-night stay," 24 July 2019 In Haiti, a CNN Hero is creating an oasis for young people to be themselves. CNN, "CNN 10 - August 16, 2019," 15 Aug. 2019 Johnson has again created a lacy Victorian-style oasis, with seating for 49 in three beautifully appointed and wallpapered rooms. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "First Look: Lisa’s Tea Treasures returns in all of its Victorian-era glory," 5 Aug. 2019 Mancini gutted the powder room to create a floral-printed oasis; installed a banquette in the breakfast nook; and purchased a mix of new and vintage furniture to outfit the entire home. Samantha Swenson, ELLE Decor, "This Brooklyn Loft by Bella Mancini Will Give You Open-Floor-Plan Envy," 17 July 2019 Each La Amada residence was designed with a modern yet tropical aesthetic and aims to blur the line between indoor and outdoor living, creating a vacation-like oasis for those lucky few who get to call this place home. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "These Tropical Homes in Mexico Have Their Own Private Rooftop Pool and Bar," 2 Apr. 2019 The bustling urban oasis is a dream boasting remarkable architecture, unique art and a vibrant nightlife that includes a delicious culinary scene. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Black Travel Vibes: Barcelona Is A Stunning Urban Retreat," 8 Aug. 2019 Cala Tonnarella, tucked inside the Zingaro Nature Reserve, is the ultimate oasis: a tiny stretch of bone-white sand and Bermuda-blue water flanked by low, limestone cliffs. Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Beaches in Europe to Visit This Year," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oasis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oasis

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oasis

borrowed from Latin Oasis, referring to the Great Oasis of Kharge in the Libyan Desert of Egypt, borrowed from Greek Óasis (Herodotus), borrowed from Egyptian wḥꜢ.t "fertile area in the desert"

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oasis

Dictionary Entries near oasis








Statistics for oasis

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oasis

The first known use of oasis was in 1613

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oasis



English Language Learners Definition of oasis

: 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


oa·​sis | \ ō-ˈā-səs How to pronounce oasis (audio) \
plural oases\ -​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of oasis

: a fertile or green spot in a desert

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on oasis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oasis

Spanish Central: Translation of oasis

Nglish: Translation of oasis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oasis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oasis

Comments on oasis

What made you want to look up oasis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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