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

Then these items will be perfect for your next care package: Make your room feel like an oasis with this adorable wall hang. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "15 Care Package Items for Every Kind of College Student," 2 Aug. 2018 Wasn’t the point of the movie, though, that the oasis that was Rick’s Café Américain could not long evade what was happening in the wider world? New York Times, "‘Play It Again, Issam’: In Casablanca, a Cafe Is Still a Cafe," 1 July 2018 Desert fan palms are the only palms native to southern California, and the park has three oases filled with them. Stephanie Granada, Sunset, "10 Insider Secrets to Optimize Your National Park Visit," 22 Jan. 2018 Still, in a city where pedestrians walk with phones in hand as if self-directed by remote control, Sozzani hopes that her newest location will be a kind of down-tempo oasis. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This Italian Icon Has Never Worn Makeup—But She Swears by One Cult Skin Cream," 7 Sep. 2018 McMenamins has usefully opened attractive bars in alcoholic oases in southwest Portland and the surrounding suburbs. Mike Seely, latimes.com, "A Washington state town had become listless. Then a bar came to town and everything began to change," 9 July 2018 That, and the 20 enormous columns that hold the tower aloft and ensure that under-the-tower oasis has enough room for its own two- and three-story buildings. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "These 165,000-Pound Columns Will Heft a 38-Story Tower 85 Feet Off the Ground," 12 June 2018 There is no shade to cool the water, no oasis left. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "A refuge and memories go up in smoke as another backcountry paradise burns away," 5 May 2018 This North Portland tavern, which was a workingman’s oasis for more than 50 years, sat on North Columbia Boulevard in the heart of Junk Yard Row, just east of the St. Johns landfill. OregonLive.com, "Frosty glasses and stiff drinks: 29 long-gone Portland bars we wish were still around," 4 Apr. 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

6 Dec 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).


to enclose within walls

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