"the southern Pacific islands and Australia, conceived as a continent," 1849, Modern Latin, from French Océanie (c. 1812). Apparently coined by Danish geographer Conrad Malte-Brun (1755-1826). Earlier in English as Oceanica (1832). Oceania was the name of one of the superstates in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four." Oceanea was the name of James Harrington's 17c. ideal state, and the name later was applied to the British empire. Related: Oceanean.

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