Oceania (ōshēănˈēə, –āˈnēə) [key] or Oceanica ōshēănˈĭkə, collective name for the approximately 25,000 islands of the Pacific, usually excluding such nontropical areas as the Ryukyu and Aleutian islands and Japan, as well as Taiwan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, whose populations are more closely related to mainland Asia. Oceania is generally considered synonomous with the South Sea Islands and is divided ethnologically into Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Oceania from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Pacific Islands Political Geography