Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


member of the Polynesian group of the Austronesian family of languages. Of the fewer than 10,000 people who speak Hawaiian, only a few hundred are native speakers, but the language is taught in some Hawaiian schools and remains important as a symbol of ethnic identity. It also is an official language of the state of Hawaii. Proto-Polynesian, the parent language of Hawaiian, was spoken in W Polynesia c.1500–1200 B.C. Hawaiian bears significant phonological similarities to the other Polynesian languages; consonant and vowel correspondences among the languages is common. Hawaiian has five long and five short vowels and eight consonants. It differs from most of the other Polynesian languages by its lack of the consonant t, which became k in Hawaiian as it diverged from the parent language.



the language of the Hawaiians, one of the Polynesian languages, which is spoken in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian was spoken by the entire population of the Hawaiian Islands until the beginning of heavy contact with the Europeans and North Americans (early 19th century). Hawaiian had a rich oral literary tradition which gradually began to disappear after the conversion of the population to Christianity (first half of the 19th century), although missionaries managed to transcribe much of it. In the first half of the 19th century the Roman alphabet was adapted to suit Hawaiian, and newspapers in Hawaiian were first published in 1834. After the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands by the USA in 1898, Hawaiian continued to be used by the ethnic group of Hawaiians, which consisted of the descendants of the earlier Polynesian population of the islands, among the prevailing majority of mixed-bloods (total population, approximately 115,000, according to a 1967 estimate). The Hawaiian language is used in everyday life, but many present-day Hawaiians now speak English.


Blinov, A. I. “Iazyki polineziitsev.” In Narody Avstralii i Okeanii. Moscow, 1956.
Pukui, M. K., and S. H. Elbert. Hawaiian-English Dictionary. [Honolulu,] 1957. (With a brief grammatical sketch.)
Pukui, M. K., and S. H. Elbert. Place Names of Hawaii and Supplement to the Third Edition of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary. [Honolulu,] 1966.
Emerson, N. B. Unwritten Literature of Hawaii: The Sacred Songs of the Hula. Washington, 1909.



1. a native or inhabitant of Hawaii, esp one descended from Melanesian or Tahitian immigrants
2. a language of Hawaii belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
References in periodicals archive ?
The Royal Hawaiian story spans decades of macadamia growing, beginning in 1948 with the founding of the Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Company.
The tracing of the Hawaiian migration and descendants is challenged by the inconsistency, and flexibility of Hawaiian names in records.
The end result is little dialogue and, in the business community, we often find only superficial references to Hawaiian culture in place names and company literature, without a real foundation in or understanding of Hawaiian values.
Rubinoff first encountered snail hunting not in the Hawaiian forests but in his lab.
Hawaiian ingredients - ahi, mahi-mahi, ono (wahoo, a type of firm white fish), onaga (orange snapper), uku (gray snapper), some Hawaiian spices, macadamia nuts, pineapples, mangoes and ogo (a type of seaweed) - are also featured.
The spa offers traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian body treatments, including a 25-minute Thalasso underwater massage treatment.
But fans can still see the group at other venues or hear its kahiko repertoire on the thirty-track CD, also called Ho'oloulu I Ka Na'auao, that hit stores April 4 and spent the next six weeks among the Hawaiian top ten.
Operator Liko Ho'okano has "visitors experience Na Pali through Hawaiian eyes," including seasonal whale watching.
Nor does it really matter whether the medium of the argument--aloha 'aina or malama 'aina--was chosen more for its appeal to the current moral power of environmentalism than for its centrality to ancient Hawaiian culture, when land was not viewed as an alienable possession.
Through the overthrow and annexation, American control and American citizenship replaced Hawaiian control and Hawaiian citizenship.
Aluli says that Hawaiian tradition teaches that the original inhabitants were descendants of the nature gods, thereby tying the people to their environment.
KING'S HAWAIIAN sliders are simple to make and irresistibly delicious when they include Jack Daniel's[R] Ready to Eat barbecued meats.

Full browser ?