Micronesia And Melanesia (Gr. small, black, andisland), terms derived from the size and complexion of the inhabitants, and applied by some geographers to arbitrary divisions of the islands of the Pacific ocean. These divisions are both comprehended in the better defined, more convenient, and better understood terms Australasia and Polynesia. Micronesia and Melanesia occupy the western portion of the Pacific. The former extends from the westernmost island of the Hawaiian group to near Japan and the Philippines, and reaches S. of the equator, comprehending the Marshall and Gilbert groups, the Ladrones, and the Carolines. Melanesia embraces the Feejee islands, the New Hebrides, Solomon's islands, New Caledonia, New Britain, New Ireland, and Papua.