A South Sea Islander, especially one brought to Australia as a laborer in the 1800s and 1900s. Often used disparagingly.
(historical) A South Pacific Islander, especially a labourer in Australia or Canada.
A person born in the South Sea Islands.
A Hawaiian of Polynesian ancestry; a Native Hawaiian. Often used disparagingly.
Origin of kanaka
Hawaiian human being, Kanaka
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
1840. From Hawaiiankanaka (“person”), ultimately from Proto-Polynesian *taŋata.
Kanaka Sentence Examples
KANAKA, a Polynesian word meaning "man," used by Polynesians to describe themselves.
With a regular and plentiful supply of Indian coolies, the recruiting of kanaka labourers practically ceased.
The traders engaged in the nefarious traffic in Kanaka labour for Fiji and Queensland had taken to personating missionaries in order to facilitate their kidnapping; Patteson was mistaken for one of these and killed.
The aboriginal Hawaiians (sometimes called Kanakas, from a Hawaiian word kanaka, meaning " man ") belong to the Malayo-Polynesian race; they probably settled in Native Hawaii in the 10th century, having formerly lived in popula- Samoa, and possibly before that in Tahiti and the Marquesas.