oa·​sis | \ō-ˈā-səs \
plural oases\ ō-​ˈā-​ˌsēz \

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

An idyllic enclave: Isolated from the web of surface streets clogged with Waze-wielding commuters, Ladera Heights represents a peaceful oasis on the bustling Westside. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Pricey Ladera Heights, tucked away in the Westside, retains a sense of community," 6 July 2018 For young and old, Pioneer Works is a little oasis in New York City. New York Times, "Free (or Cheap) Things to Do in NYC This Weekend," 5 July 2018 The result is a minimalist oasis, with all-marble bathrooms and geometric furnishings, courtesy of legendary French architect and designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Fortune, "5 Spectacular, New Ways to Experience the French Countryside," 28 June 2018 Dowd, who has lived in the same housing development since 1989, keeps a plot in the community garden: a mulchy oasis amid brick behemoths. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, "Aunt Lydia’s Garden Karma," 18 June 2018 The falls are the highlight of the 1.5-mile walk along the trail that bears the same name, a lush oasis that looks more like the rainforest than central Texas. Dale Blasingame, San Antonio Express-News, "The top 6 hikes in Texas state parks," 11 June 2018 Times Ten, a wine bar, was a relatively calm oasis amid multiple party bars in the West 7th area. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "A Punch Bowl is going to go where a West 7th-area wine bar used to be," 14 June 2018 Beyond that is another grassy courtyard surrounded by concrete stadium steps, then an intriguing moat-like pool that creates a kind of oasis within the bunker. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Brutalist concrete home intrigues in Mexico," 29 May 2018 From analysis of the brutal scenes in Gaza to an insider’s view of an oasis of calm in the Gulf, here’s your round-up of our best political stories from the past week. Caroline Alexander, Bloomberg.com, "Gaza, Guns and the Balkan Flank: Balance of Power Weekend Reads," 19 May 2018

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.

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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"

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Statistics for oasis

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oasis

The first known use of oasis was in 1613

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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 \
plural oases\ -​ˌsēz \

Kids Definition of oasis

: a fertile or green spot in a desert

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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a private place of worship

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