Definition of tiki in English:



  • 1NZ A large wooden or small greenstone image of a human figure.

    • ‘A throwback to the Polynesian craze that swept North America in the '50s and '60s, the restaurant is full of Eastern Island statuettes, wooden tikis and a Hawaiian ukulele soundtrack.’
    • ‘When we see people wearing greenstone tiki or bones around their necks, we can laugh, but that is a way of giving the culture a status that means that it will actually survive.’
    • ‘Tipi wore a greenstone tiki around her neck that had been passed down through many generations.’
    • ‘No, what he felt for was the little smooth object sewn at the back of his silver fern, a greenstone tiki presented by the Maori people of Hawera.’
  • 2[as modifier] Denoting something that is imitative of objects or customs associated with the tropical islands of the South Pacific:

    ‘a tiki bar’
    ‘tiki huts’
    • ‘Add a few torches and now your tiki parties can be nearly authentic.’
    • ‘In a thrift store I saw a tiki mug marked " Harvey's Sneaky Tiki, Lake Tahoe ".’
    • ‘At the end of a gravel and asphalt yard is a tiki bar and a grill made from half an oil drum.’
    • ‘If you didn't make it out this weekend you have not seen the new stairway to the tiki bar.’
    • ‘A collection of remixed tiki exotica really gets you straddling both sides of the fence.’
    • ‘Lao Bay was an entertaining circus of activity the day we stopped in, with busloads of windsurfers camped out under tiki huts or on the white sand beach.’
    • ‘Most of today's tiki artists grew up in the shadow of tiki culture, surrounded by Polynesian-style apartments, hotels, restaurants and bars.’
    • ‘They look a bit like Hawaiian tiki lamps, which is not a bad association since they are installed right near the beach.’
    • ‘The handmade felt scraps and plastic tiki brooches that my amazing friend liz helped me sew the night before sold for $8 each.’
    • ‘I made my own little tiki ornaments and instead of tinsel I used leis. "’
    • ‘Back on the mainland, any travelling I did became a pretext for my on-going tiki bar pilgrimage.’
    • ‘There are huge marinas and outdoor "tiki bars" and gourmet restaurants galore.’
    • ‘At the Greenhouse tiki bar four rugged guys were talking about Harleys.’
    • ‘When I came back a year later, the tiki was no longer there.’
    • ‘Phoenix, Arizona even had a tiki motel, called the Kon Tiki.’
    • ‘The little kitsch Hawaii tiki milk jug from a garage sale for $1 last year.’
    • ‘They're always pushing cocktail culture on people, be it 30s style martini shakers, tiki culture, bachelor-pad barware.’
    • ‘I think that I will build a tiki bar.’
    • ‘Howard Shore creates a score that's wonderfully evocative of the 1950s, part sci-fi drive-in, part tiki lounge.’
    • ‘Pete Moruzzi, a computer sales executive, built a tiki bar in his Southern California home in 1994.’


Maori, literally image. tiki represents an independent development, which first became widespread in the mid 20th century in the US tourist industry.