Definition of Okinawan in US English:



  • Of or relating to the region or island of Okinawa, its people, or their dialect.


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Okinawa, a region of Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands, especially of the largest of the islands, from which the region takes its name.

  • 2The dialect of Ryukyuan spoken in Okinawa.


1940s; earliest use found in Monumenta Nipponica. From the name of Okinawa (Japanese Okinawa: see note; Japanese regional (Okinawan) Uchinā), a Prefecture of Japan comprising most of the Ryukyu islands, and also the name of the largest of these islands, and of its second largest town + -an.