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

Verdict: Never Stop Sneakin’ is an oasis of smart, earnest nostalgia in an ocean of cash grabs. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Never Stop Sneakin’ is a brilliant send-up of ’90s stealth games," 12 July 2018 Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has long been a vibrant oasis, a spot where unique culture, traditions and entertainment are never far from reach. Michael Boyce, USA TODAY, "Come experience the perfect day in Asheville, North Carolina!," 7 May 2018 Golf course ghosts The Northlake Nature Center today is a sprawling oasis, with its trails and boardwalks covering more than 400 acres nestled between Pelican Park and U.S. 190. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "In a Mandeville swamp, an accidental memorial to a historically crooked politican," 10 Apr. 2018 Under the design direction of husband and wife design duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz, the space has transformed into a bohemian luxe oasis. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "The Hidden Details In This Hotel Will Make You Never Want To Leave," 5 Nov. 2018 But now, a new study in Nature Astronomy suggests that with current technology, transforming the Red Planet into a verdant oasis would actually be impossible. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Nobody Is Terraforming Mars Anytime Soon, NASA Says," 30 July 2018 What happened in Corona is urban alchemy — turning a short stretch of asphalt into a little oasis. James Barron, New York Times, "Lounge in Them. Dash Through Them. But Don’t Call Them Parks.," 13 July 2018 But Grand Park converted an underused, unappealing expanse between the Music Center and City Hall into an urban oasis populated with species from the world’s six plant kingdoms to symbolize the diversity of L.A.’s population. Matt Jaffe, SFChronicle.com, "Green travel in (gasp!) Los Angeles is easier than you think," 19 June 2018 Her chromotheraputic use of calming blues and grays and happy pinks turn this hotspot showroom in a bustling part of town into an oasis that’s nostalgic of all the things Rebecca believes makes a space feel like home. Kaitlyn Wylde, Vogue, "A First Look Inside Rebecca Atwood’s New Nolita Store, Where Prints Prevail," 15 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

18 Jan 2019

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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