Hawaiian Dictionary

Aloha and welcome to our Hawaiian Dictionary section!

Our Hawaiian Dictionary section is intended to provide you with insight into meanings of Hawaiian words that are relevant to our company’s mission of stewardship and social responsibility.  It is also intended to help spread the appreciation for and understanding of the Hawaiian culture and language, and to connect people with the place we call home.

As students of the Hawaiian Language, we strive to communicate the depth and values embedded in the Hawaiian language.  We are by no means Hawaiian language experts, and rely heavily on scholarly resources to guide our content.

We invite you to reach out to us with any comments, questions or suggestions.

 

Mahalo nui loa

“Ahupuaʻa”
(Ahoo-poo-ah-ah)

Land division extending from the mountains/uplands down to the sea.  It is called this way because the boundary was marked by a heap (ahu) of stones surmounted by an image of a pig (puaʻa), or because a pig or other tribute was laid on the altar as tax to the chief.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“ʻĀina”
(Ay-nah)

Land, earth.

The motto of Hawai’i, first spoken by King Kamehameha III in 1843 is “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono ” (usually translated into English as : The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated in Righteousness, however other interpretations are possible).

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

Related words:  ʻĀina kumu wai watershed

“Ala nuʻukia”
(Ah-la-noo-oo-kee-ah)

The mission statement of an organization.

Source: Māmaka Kaiao Kuleana kope © na ka ʻAha Pūnana Leo a me ka Hale Kuamoʻo.

“Aloha”
(Ah-loh-hah)

Love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet, hail.

Source: Kuleana kope © 2003 na ka Hale Paʻi o Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi.

“Hoʻopōʻaiapuni”
(Ho-oh-poh-ahya-puni)

To recycle.

The root word Pōʻaiapuni  means “cycle,” and Pōʻaiapuni ola means “Life cycle”.

Source: Māmaka Kaiao Copyright © 2003 by ʻAha Pūnana Leo and Hale Kuamoʻo, at http://www.wehewehe.org/

“Kaʻaʻike”
(Kah-ah-eekeh)

Communication.

Lit., transferred knowledge.

Related Words:

Oral communication. Also kaʻaʻike waha.

Kaʻaʻike pānaʻi. Intercommunication, two-way communication.

Source: Māmaka Kaiao Kuleana kope © na ka ʻAha Pūnana Leo a me ka Hale Kuamoʻo.

“Kai”
(Kye)

Note: In English, this word often is prounounced like the “ki” in “kite”, it is more accurately pronounced with a very soft “ee” sound at the end of the word).

Sea, sea water; area near the sea, seaside, lowlands; tide, current in the sea.

Related words: Makai  on the seaside, toward the sea

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Kaiaulu”
(Kaya-ooloo)

Community, neighborhood.

Source: Māmaka Kaiao Copyright © 2003 by ʻAha Pūnana Leo and Hale Kuamoʻo.

“Kōkua”
(Koh-koo-ah)

Help, aid, assistance, relief, assistant, associate, deputy, helper.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Lani”
(Lah-nee)

Sky, heaven; heavenly, spiritual.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Laulima”
(Lauw-lee-mah)

Cooperation, joint action; group of people working together; community food patch; to work together, cooperate.

This word comes from putting together the word lau (To be much, many; very many, numerous) and the word lima (hand).

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Mahalo”
(Mah-ha-loh)

Thanks, gratitude; to thank.

Mahalo nui loa, thank [you] very much.

Source: Kuleana kope © 2003 na ka Hale Paʻi o Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi.

“Mālama”
(Mah-la-ma)

To take care of, tend, attend, care for, preserve, protect, beware, save, maintain; care, preservation, support, fidelity, loyalty; custodian, caretaker, keeper.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Maluō”
(Mah-lu-oh)

Conservation, as in careful use of natural resources to prevent depletion.

Source: Māmaka Kaiao Copyright © 2003 by ʻAha Pūnana Leo and Hale Kuamoʻo, at http://www.wehewehe.org/

“Mauna”
(Mauw-nah)

Mountain, mountainous region; mountainous.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“Nahele”
(Nah-hey-lay)

Forest, grove, wilderness, bush.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“ʻOhana”
(Oh-hah-nah)

Family, relative, kin group.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.

“ʻOno”
(Oh-noh)

Delicious, tasty, savory; to relish, crave; deliciousness, flavor, savor.

Source: Kuleana kope © 2003 na ka Hale Paʻi o Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi.

“Pono”
(Poh-noh)

Goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, equity; duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful; should, ought, must, necessary.

“Do what is pono…do what is right or just”

Source: Kuleana kope © 2003 na ka Hale Paʻi o Ke Kulanui o Hawaiʻi.

“Wai”
(Vye)

Water, liquid or liquor of any kind other than sea water, juice, sap, honey; also liquids discharged from the body.
Related words: wailele  waterfall
also:  waiwai - Goods, property, assets, valuables, value, worth, wealth, importance, benefit, estate, use; useful, valuable, rich, costly, financial.

Source: Hawaiian Dictionary (Pukui/Elbert dictionary) Copyright © 2003 by University of Hawaiʻi Press.