Satellite image of Australia (English def. 1)


Proper Noun

  • country Oceania (continent) .
  • The continent of Australia-New Guinea. New Guinea and the intervening islands are also on the Australian tectonic plate and are thus geologically considered part of the continent.


Similar words

Broader meaning words


  • First attested 16th century, from Latin terra austrālis incōgnita, from auster. Used also in 1693 (quotation below). Popularised by Matthew Flinders in 1814 (quotation below).
  • Distantly cognate to Austria – same Proto-Indo-European root, but via German where it retained the earlier sense of “east” rather than “south”.
  • See also Terra Australis.

Modern English dictionary

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