Australia Definition


A country in Oceania. Official name: Commonwealth of Australia.


(geology) The continent of Australia-New Guinea. New Guinea and the intervening islands are also on the Australian tectonic plate and are thus geologically considered part of the continent.


Origin of Australia

  • First attested 16th century, from Latin terra austrālis incōgnita (“unknown southern land”), from auster (“the south wind”). Used also in 1693 (quotation below). Popularised by Matthew Flinders in 1814 (quotation below).

    From Wiktionary

  • Distantly cognate to Austria – same Proto-Indo-European root, but via German where it retained the earlier sense of “east” rather than “south”.

    From Wiktionary

  • See also Terra Australis.

    From Wiktionary

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