Definition of oasis in US English:


nounPlural oases

  • 1A fertile spot in a desert, where water is found.

    • ‘The collections themselves will be organised thematically, beginning with the physical environment of the Nile valley and the surrounding desert and oases.’
    • ‘As deserts have oases, oceans have islands, and naturalists have found over 60 species of fish which were never documented before 1973.’
    • ‘Go in search of feathered beasties in the deserts, mountains and oases of southern Morocco's kasbah country.’
    • ‘Located around the semiartificial Lake Pichola, it's an oasis in the desert state of Rajasthan.’
    • ‘In fact, the desert oasis has played host to this event in five of the past six years.’
    • ‘Much of Uzbekistan's landscape consists of deserts, dry steppes, and fertile oases near rivers.’
    • ‘Aside from oceanic islands and forest patches, oases may constitute interesting systems to study how regional processes affect local diversity.’
    • ‘The northern part of the country is desert, spotted with oases, where most of the population is concentrated.’
    • ‘But they grow more liberally, more lushly, in Israel's desert and its urban oases than anywhere else I've seen.’
    • ‘If I had realized I would soon become intimately familiar with one of these little sand-whipped desert oases, I might not have dozed through that particular brief.’
    • ‘In minutes, you could walk from the villagey downtown onto trails that switchbacked up the San Jacinto Mountains to palm oases and towering waterfalls hidden in canyons.’
    • ‘The low desert also has some scattered palm oases, alkaline sinks, desert marshes, and permanent streams.’
    • ‘However Leigh Creek has survived them all and prospered to become an oasis in the desert.’
    • ‘For those who find many of them too heavily laden with calories, there are the Tunisian dates from the desert oases and elsewhere in the south, as well as numerous other fruits - oranges, lemons, grapes, etc.’
    • ‘In the time of Muhammad, Khaibar was a fertile oasis in the Arabian desert.’
    • ‘They needed to stay on the pathway that led towards the only oasis in the desert and to the only village strong enough to live in this heat.’
    • ‘This flower was unique, there was only one desert in all of Hotep and only one oasis within that desert.’
    • ‘She now lives in Palm Springs, the desert oasis associated with super-rich and wrinkly superstars.’
    • ‘The creatures inhabited oases dotting a similar desert landscape 250 million years ago, feeding on fish as well as other aquatic tetrapods.’
    • ‘Runners will have to contend with high altitude, desert oases, volcanic peaks, salt flats, gigantic rock gardens and river canyons along with an extremely dry climate with some areas never having recorded rainfall.’
    watering hole, watering place, water hole, spring
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    1. 1.1 A pleasant or peaceful area or period in the midst of a difficult, troubled, or hectic place or situation.
      ‘an oasis of calm in the center of the city’
      • ‘In a critical moment like this, the infusion of Chinese capital is like an oasis in the desert.’
      • ‘The grounds of Trinity College are an oasis of calm right in the middle of the city.’
      • ‘The farm is a three-acre oasis in an area of suburban development.’
      • ‘It is here that the upper classes have built a clean, new oasis in a desert of poverty and destruction.’
      • ‘Now surrounded by the homes and businesses of ever-expanding Swindon, it has taken on a new lease of life as an oasis of calm and beauty.’
      • ‘A short walk out of the centre brings you to the cool stone walls of the cloistered courtyard, a welcome oasis of calm away from the busy city streets.’
      • ‘To my left on the river a lone fisherman sat rod-straight on his boat, an oasis of calm.’
      • ‘Lots of cool bridges, rocks and waterfalls make this a small oasis in the concrete jungle.’
      • ‘But inland, even in areas like the Southeast, which generally scores very low for potential massage mavens, metropolitan areas are oases of tranquility.’
      • ‘But moments of effective humor are rare oases amidst a desert of painfully unfunny and sophomoric material.’
      • ‘In a city teeming with traffic and tourists, it is a glorious oasis of calm.’
      • ‘The few spurts of humorous dialogue are like, well, an oasis in the desert.’
      • ‘When they were first introduced, the league tables were an oasis in a desert of information.’
      • ‘Because Zambia continues to be an oasis of peace, the nation has become a fertile ground for refugees.’
      • ‘On the second floor is a hidden oasis which provides a peaceful yet exotic environment.’
      • ‘Work used to be an oasis of calm where parents, in the past mainly fathers, could gain identity and self-respect.’
      • ‘The three had even, with their escorts, ventured out to explore the seascape, finding areas that were truly oases of peace.’
      • ‘The theme parks are ordered oases of calm serving up safe family entertainment.’
      • ‘In an era dominated by speed, frenzy and panic, the pipe - smoker is an oasis of calm.’
      • ‘The Bloomsbury area near Russell Square is an oasis of calm near the British Museum.’
      refuge, haven, safe haven, retreat, sanctuary, sanctum, shelter, resting place, hiding place, harbour, asylum, hideaway, hideout
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  • 2trademark A type of rigid foam into which the stems of flowers can be secured in flower arranging.

    • ‘Florist foam, also known as Oasis, is the main medium for holding most flower arrangements in place.’
    • ‘To achieve the correct size of the oasis for the container, press the opening of the vase on to the oasis and then try to cut out the exact shape with a sharp knife.’
    • ‘If you are creating large or longer hanging dried flower arrangements, two or more bricks of oasis can be fixed together by running strong wires through the plastic container.’


Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek, apparently of Egyptian origin.