oa·​sis | \ ō-ˈā-səs How to pronounce oasis (audio) \
plural oases\ ō-​ˈā-​ˌsēz How to pronounce oases (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 Every unrepeatable moment is a small oasis of happiness. Angela Haupt, Washington Post, "When it comes to happiness, Americans are doing it wrong. These books are here to help.," 15 Jan. 2020 Deep within the San Juan Mountains of Colorado lies the small ski town of Telluride, a mountain oasis for adventurers and tourists alike all year long. Dallas News, "Club Red Telluride: The Most Iconic Acts of The Past And What to See This Year," 14 Jan. 2020 Featured at the top of the list is the ‘Astonishing Family-Friendly Tree House’ retreat, which offers a spacious oasis right above a creek next to a small waterfall. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "10 amazing Texas tree house hotels that will make you feel like a kid again," 11 Jan. 2020 And this midwest oasis is easily becoming a hotspot for discovering great food. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "Must-Have Beauty Products For These Must-Visit Travel Destinations," 7 Jan. 2020 What remained was a tiny, green oasis surrounded by miles of devastation. New York Times, "Quotation of the Day: The Rush to Save Joeys and More Amid Australia’s Inferno," 7 Jan. 2020 Its new age veneer and plaintive, pensive ambiance forges a place of comforting repose: an oasis that seems frozen in time. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best K-pop Albums of 2019: Critics' Picks," 31 Dec. 2019 The Nellie E occupies the site of an old mining camp, a terraced oasis spread across rocky hills that manages to look both historic and post-apocalyptic. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "The best things to do in Arizona in 2020: A month-by-month guide to big adventures," 27 Dec. 2019 Those blocks today, which stretch along South Fourth Street from Broadway to West Muhammad Ali, are a historical and local oasis near the highly commercial and bustling Fourth Street Live in downtown. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "A Day in the Neighborhood: Why South Fourth Street defines Louisville more than we realize," 12 Dec. 2019

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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Oasis.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oasis. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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

What made you want to look up oasis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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