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

Tucked underneath a staircase in Altadena, Calif., is a plush, brightly upholstered oasis. Tim Gavan, WSJ, "Five Stairways Go From Dull to Dramatic," 13 July 2018 The gym looked like some kind of circus, a colorful oasis in the middle of the gray factories in Brooklyn. Ilana Strauss, SELF, "I Was Terrified of Falling, So I Tried Parkour," 9 July 2018 Pure, unplugged, communal—all these peaceful oases require are some good friends and perhaps a few beers. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "America's Best Swimming Holes," 1 July 2018 With cable and streaming platforms airing prestige dramas long after the networks end their seasons, the warmer months have ceased to be reliable oases of light entertainment. Judy Berman, Time, "Glow Fades But Stays Fun in Its Second Season," 21 June 2018 Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD: Where an oasis of essential services is helping revitalize a troubled city. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Katy finalist for ‘Nicest Place in America’," 20 June 2018 The reasons for each oasis’s success are different, the team noted in their paper, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. National Geographic, "These 38 Coral Reefs Are Thriving, Despite Threats," 18 June 2018 The announcement brought anxiety and uncertainty in Balmorhea, an oasis of emerald-green irrigated fields in an otherwise drab and dusty corner of Texas, about 360 miles from San Antonio. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Rash of earthquakes prompts fear of oil boom in Balmorhea," 15 June 2018 But after the city drastically cut back the supply, water wars have disrupted an oasis of tranquillity. latimes.com, "Today: Distrust and Verify," 4 June 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

11 Oct 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

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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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