Definition of Maori in English:


nounPlural Maoris

  • 1A member of the aboriginal people of New Zealand.

    • ‘Joe and about 70 other Maoris arrived in Sydney from New Zealand to take up jobs for the Olympics.’
    • ‘The number of Maoris playing the game in New Zealand has dropped off in the past decade, dramatically so in Auckland.’
    • ‘These paints were immediately popular with the Indians of the Northwest Coast of America and the Maoris of New Zealand because their paint never dried hard.’
    • ‘Tattooing the skin by pricking and staining with dye reflects the use of woad by Celtic warriors, warpaint by North American Indians, and tattooing by Maoris.’
    • ‘Analysing the examples of the Maoris in New Zealand, the Aborigenese in Australia and the Quebecois in Canada he clarifies the special case of ethnocultural nationalism of the Indians.’
    • ‘By the time the Europeans arrived, only a few centuries after the Maoris invaded New Zealand, the last moa was gone.’
    • ‘Only the Maoris of New Zealand outnumber the Samoans among Polynesian groups.’
    • ‘The Zulu War reminds one of similar discreditable campaigns against the Dervishes, Afghans, Boers and Maoris.’
    • ‘The two communities coexisted until 1835, when a group of Maoris hijacked a British ship in Wellington and sailed it to the Chathams.’
    • ‘Aborigines, Maoris and even Mexicans think he is a fighter for economic justice in the Third World.’
    • ‘The Maoris of New Zealand and the Khoikhoi and the Africans of South Africa had, however, featured prominently in the concerns of British humanitarians.’
    • ‘In 1642, the Dutch navigator, A. J. Tasman, reached New Zealand where Polynesian Maoris were inhabitants.’
    • ‘I explain that those Maoris are New Zealand citizens, and that those Pacific Islanders who are Niueans and Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens.’
    • ‘At that time, there were around 100,000 Maoris living in New Zealand.’
    • ‘He later became an MP and denounced what he considered the colonial government's ‘dishonourable’ dealings with the Maoris.’
    • ‘Aboriginal culture is nomadic, whereas Maoris tended to settle in fixed communities.’
    • ‘Most affected are the indigenous Maoris and the Pacific Islander groups who have migrated to New Zealand over the past 30 years.’
    • ‘Intermarriage between Maoris and Pakehas (the Maori term for whites) is common.’
  • 2mass noun The Polynesian language of the Maoris, with about 100,000 speakers.

    • ‘I can translate my own Maori, just in case somebody does not understand what I am talking about.’
    • ‘I did not grow up using Maori language or really understanding tikanga Maori.’
    • ‘It has its own grammatical structure different from that of either English or Maori.’
    • ‘Especially with languages as different in their origins as English and Maori, this is not possible.’
    • ‘There is a requirement in this House that speeches be given in English or Maori.’
    • ‘The member does not know whether we were translating English into Maori, or Maori into English.’
    • ‘As the member has reiterated, Maori is an official language and that is where it stands.’
    • ‘I use te reo Maori as part of my journey, learning the language, and as a sign of my respect and love for te reo.’
    • ‘It was forbidden to speak Maori within the school grounds that she attended on the East Coast.’
    • ‘I do not want to say that in Maori, because somebody might ask me to interpret what I really mean.’
    • ‘Like all other languages that have grown up in an oral tradition, Maori has been a performance language.’
    • ‘He spoke fluent Maori and often lapsed into the language in his writing.’
    • ‘He gave a very good rendition of that recital as it is, in Maori, and then requested that it be translated.’
    • ‘He was enrolled to major in English and Maori, but he found that it was not the place for him.’
    • ‘One can now get up, speak in Maori, get double the time, and thus cut off the ACT party.’
    • ‘This bill goes through a complicated recital of grievance, in English and in Maori.’
    • ‘She went straight into kura kaupapa Maori and is now a very fluent speaker of te reo.’
    • ‘If they can't cope in English how would they cope in Maori or any other second language.’
    • ‘Sometimes Bev hears a string of words in Maori in her sleep that she notes down when she wakes.’
    • ‘He said something in Maori, and people who cannot speak Maori did not know what it meant.’


  • Relating to the Maoris or their language.

    • ‘It's about a poor urban Maori community, domestic violence and the triumph of the human spirit.’
    • ‘One nomination has been received so far for the region's three new Maori constituency seats.’
    • ‘The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement between Maori chiefs and the Crown.’
    • ‘It is a history-mystery as bad science collides with Maori culture and starts to shake the present.’
    • ‘Demographers will say that the Maori population is younger than average and children don't pay tax.’
    • ‘The character of Maori interactions with the State is not a major theme of your book.’
    • ‘Public Health nurses visited the Maori communities and attended to babies and school children.’
    • ‘At the south end we have those Maori palisades lining the road but the entrance to the CBD is a line of white crosses.’
    • ‘The collection also includes other Maori art forms such as carving, tukutuku panels and flax weaving.’
    • ‘Although some do need help or training in managing their new assets and starting up new Maori businesses.’
    • ‘Many of the Maori tribes had made it clear that they would not support any Maori party that was exclusive or separatist.’
    • ‘The PM has announced an inquiry into the allegations that the SIS spied on Maori groups.’
    • ‘Of course it isn't right but, for us Maori folk, this is our daily battle.’
    • ‘This situation would have created considerable problems if there had been a large number of Maori seats.’
    • ‘We are not talking here just about Maori land, language, culture, and things like that.’
    • ‘It was emphasised that the programme was not an introduction to Maori culture and language.’
    • ‘Maori representation could be up to list selection, rather than Maori seats.’
    • ‘In this case, here are the relevant sections outlining the protection of Maori interests.’
    • ‘Oh, I mean, take us out into the bush and show us an authentic Maori village as if it was a couple hundred years ago.’
    • ‘We've just witnessed a ground breaking and probably farcical Maori by-election.’

The Maoris arrived in New Zealand as part of a series of waves of migration from Tahiti, probably from the 9th century onwards. They lost large amounts of land in the colonization of New Zealand by the British, and now number about 280,000


The name in Maori.