AskDefine | Define Micronesian

User Contributed Dictionary



Proper noun

  1. A person from Micronesia or of Micronesian descent.



  1. Of, from, or pertaining to Micronesia or the Micronesian people.


Extensive Definition

Micronesia, from the Greek mikros (μικρός) (meaning small) and nesos (νῆσος) (meaning island), is a subregion of Oceania, comprising hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines lie to the northwest, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia to the west and south, and Polynesia to the east.

Geography and history

This region consists of many hundreds of small islands spread over a large region of the western Pacific. The only empire known to have originated in Micronesia was based in Yap.
The term "Micronesia" was first proposed to distinguish the region in 1831 by Jules Dumont d'Urville.
Politically, Micronesia is divided into eight nation-states and territories:
Much of the area was to come under European domination quite early. Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Caroline Islands (what would later become the FSM and Palau) were colonized early by the Spanish. These island territories were part of the Spanish East Indies and governed from Spanish Philippines since the early 17th century until 1898. Full European expansion did not come, however, until the early 20th century, when the area would be divided between:
During the First World War, Germany's Pacific island territories were taken from it and were made into League of Nations Mandates. Nauru became an Australian mandate, while Germany's other territories were given as mandates to Japan. This remained the situation until Japan's defeat in the Second World War, when its mandates became a United Nations Trusteeship ruled by the United States, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Today, all of Micronesia (with the exceptions of Guam and Wake Island, which are U.S. territories, and the Northern Mariana Islands, which is a U.S. Commonwealth) are independent states.


The people today form many ethnicities, but are all descended from and belong to the Micronesian culture. The Micronesian culture was one of the last native cultures of the region to develop. It developed from a mixture of Melanesians, Filipinos and Polynesians. Because of this mixture of descent, many of the ethnicities of Micronesia, feel closer to some groups in Melanesia, Polynesia or the Philippines. A good example of this are the Yapese who are related to Austronesian tribes in the Northern Philippines


The native languages of the various Micronesian indigenous peoples are classified under the Austronesian language family. Almost all of these languages belong to the Oceanic subgroup of this family; however, two exceptions are noted in Western Micronesia, which belong to the Western Malayo-Polynesian subgroup: This latter subgroup also includes most languages spoken today in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia (Kirch, 2000: pp. 166-167).
On the eastern edge of the Federated States of Micronesia, the languages Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi represent an extreme westward extension of Polynesian.

Regional organizations

The region is home to the Micronesian Games, a quadrennial international multi-sport event involving all Micronesia's countries and territories except Wake Island.
In September 2007, journalists in the region founded the Micronesian Media Association .


  • On the Road of the Winds. An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact
Micronesian in Arabic: مايكرونيزيا
Micronesian in Aragonese: Micronesia
Micronesian in Franco-Provençal: Micronèsie
Micronesian in Asturian: Micronesia
Micronesian in Bengali: মাইক্রোনেশিয়া
Micronesian in Min Nan: Micronesia
Micronesian in Bosnian: Mikronezija
Micronesian in Bulgarian: Микронезия
Micronesian in Catalan: Micronèsia
Micronesian in Chuvash: Микронези
Micronesian in Danish: Mikronesien (område)
Micronesian in German: Mikronesien
Micronesian in Estonian: Mikroneesia
Micronesian in Modern Greek (1453-): Μικρονησία
Micronesian in Spanish: Micronesia
Micronesian in Esperanto: Mikronezio
Micronesian in Persian: میکرونزی
Micronesian in French: Micronésie (région)
Micronesian in Galician: Micronesia
Micronesian in Korean: 미크로네시아
Micronesian in Croatian: Mikronezija
Micronesian in Indonesian: Mikronesia
Micronesian in Icelandic: Míkrónesía (svæði)
Micronesian in Italian: Micronesia
Micronesian in Hebrew: מיקרונזיה (אזור)
Micronesian in Pampanga: Micronesia
Micronesian in Kashmiri: मैक्रोनीशिया
Micronesian in Swahili (macrolanguage): Mikronesia
Micronesian in Latvian: Mikronēzija (reģions)
Micronesian in Luxembourgish: Mikronesien
Micronesian in Lithuanian: Mikronezija
Micronesian in Hungarian: Mikronézia
Micronesian in Malay (macrolanguage): Micronesia
Micronesian in Dutch: Micronesië
Micronesian in Japanese: ミクロネシア
Micronesian in Javanese: Mikronésia
Micronesian in Norwegian: Mikronesia
Micronesian in Norwegian Nynorsk: Mikronesia
Micronesian in Low German: Mikronesien (Inselbulten)
Micronesian in Polish: Mikronezja (wyspy)
Micronesian in Portuguese: Micronésia
Micronesian in Romanian: Micronezia
Micronesian in Russian: Микронезия
Micronesian in Sanskrit: मैक्रोनीशिया
Micronesian in Scots: Micronesie
Micronesian in Simple English: Micronesia
Micronesian in Slovak: Mikronézia (región)
Micronesian in Slovenian: Mikronezija
Micronesian in Serbian: Микронезија (регија)
Micronesian in Serbo-Croatian: Mikronezija (regija)
Micronesian in Finnish: Mikronesia
Micronesian in Swedish: Mikronesien
Micronesian in Tagalog: Micronesia
Micronesian in Turkish: Mikronezya
Micronesian in Ukrainian: Мікронезія
Micronesian in Urdu: مائیکرونیشیا
Micronesian in Wolof: Mikroneesi
Micronesian in Samogitian: Mikronezėjė (salīns)
Micronesian in Chinese: 密克罗尼西亚群岛
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