oa·​sis | \ ō-ˈā-səs How to pronounce oasis (audio) \
plural oases\ ō-​ˈā-​ˌsēz How to pronounce oasis (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 But the school, far from being the educational oasis Dr. Mehta had envisioned, proved to be more like an orphan asylum, populated mainly by blind street children. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Ved Mehta, Writer Who Illuminated India, Is Dead at 86," 10 Jan. 2021 Many are dependent on the tourists who flock to this oasis of the arts on the banks of the French Broad River in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anthony Debarros, WSJ, "Six Stories From a Downtown District Show Pandemic’s Uneven Toll," 31 Dec. 2020 To help continue to provide this oasis of beauty in the middle of Strongsville, consider a year-end donation or membership. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Strongsville student named Male Semper Fidelis All-American of the Year," 24 Dec. 2020 This desert oasis is so extraordinary—and fragile—that in 2014, UNESCO added it to its list of World Heritage sites. National Geographic, "Oil drilling, possible fracking planned for Okavango region—elephants’ last stronghold," 28 Oct. 2020 Now, after 20 years, the man who created this diverse culinary oasis will walk away. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, "'We have to enjoy life': Why this iconic Arizona chef is stepping away from the kitchen," 10 Sep. 2020 Visitors to Orlando’s Leu Gardens might soon need to watch their backs while wandering the 50-acre botanical oasis: Dinosaurs are coming. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Dinosaurs return for an ‘invasion’ at Leu Gardens starting Jan. 18," 1 Jan. 2021 The story of Barnacle Snug Luffy, who looks to pick up the pieces after a fire ripped through the town and torched his birding oasis. Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: The best California writing of 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 The outdoor oasis features a covered veranda, grill, heated pool with negative edge and granite spa, marble pavers, fire pit, fire pots and palm trees. Dallas News, "Cindy O’Gorman showcases estate with golf course views," 19 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for oasis

Time Traveler

The first known use of oasis was in 1613

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Statistics for oasis

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oasis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oasis. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for oasis


How to pronounce oasis (audio)

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

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Comments on oasis

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