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

Trump was whisked away to an oasis of warm greetings at a black-tie reception at Blenheim, birthplace of Winston Churchill, the larger-than-life British leader cited by the president as a model of leadership. BostonGlobe.com, "Trumps attend black-tie gala at UK’s Blenheim Palace," 12 July 2018 Dating back to the 18th century, the resort originally belonged to British royalty before Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records label, purchased it in the early '70s and transformed it into the ultimate oasis for rock 'n' roll icons. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Resort is Jamaica's Best Kept Secret," 27 June 2018 As much as the restaurant was known for simple Mexican fare, the restaurant was seen by many as a cultural oasis, a dining establishment intertwined in the fabric of Oakland and subsequently possessing a clientele of diverse backgrounds. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "The Bay Area mourns the closure of Oakland’s 91-year-old Mexicali Rose," 26 June 2018 The resort also has a cluster of high-end villas — the adults-only oasis has its own private pool and a residential setting complete with private check-in. Joy Sewing, San Antonio Express-News, "Weekend getaway: Your guide to all things Galveston," 11 June 2018 While the Infinity War discourse rages, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful, low-stakes oasis that serves to underline just how good superhero movies can be. Tom Philip, GQ, "Marvel's Funniest Movie Is Now on Netflix," 11 June 2018 Statistics from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority show visitation did not decline overall that year, with about 12.8 million traveling to this desert oasis. NBC News, "Las Vegas strike could have far-reaching effect on larger economy," 24 May 2018 Marmol Radziner architects designed the Arrowhead House as an extravagant prefab oasis in the desert hills outside of Las Vegas. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Modern prefab house comes with a James Turrell Skyspace for $14.5M," 23 May 2018 From a mermaid festival in Seward to an electronic dance music oasis in Willow, not to mention mainstays like the Alaska State Fair and Salmonfest, there's something for just about everyone here. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s your Alaska summer 2018 festival guide," 17 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

13 Sep 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).


the setting in which something occurs

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