aborigine

noun ab·orig·i·ne \ ˌa-bə-ˈrij-(ˌ)nē , -ˈri-jə- \

Definition of aborigine

1 :a member of the original people to inhabit an area especially as contrasted with an invading or colonizing people
2 often capitalized :a member of any of the indigenous peoples of Australia

Examples of aborigine in a Sentence

  1. the aborigines had no immunity against the raft of diseases brought by the invaders

Recent Examples of aborigine from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aborigine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of aborigine

back-formation from aborigines, plural, borrowed from Latin Aborīginēs, a pre-Roman people of Latium
Note: The Latin name was variously interpreted by ancient authors, though modern etymologies tend to claim that the word is a parasynthetic derivative from the phrase ab origine, "from the beginning/first appearance." This would make sense if the word was formed as a generic name for "first inhabitants," though earlier Latin sources (Cato, Varro) treated it as the name of a specific people. According to Serviusʼs commentary on the Aeneid, Virgil intended "Aboriginum reges" in the line "aliique ab origine reges/Martiaque ob patriam pugnando uolnera passi" (Aeneid 7.180) ["others kings by birth, who suffered battle wounds fighting for their country"], " … sed est metro prohibitus" ["but the meter prohibits it"]. The lexical antiquarian Sextus Pompeius Festus, on the other hand, suggests a connection with aberrāre, "to wander off," as does the Origo gentis Romanae (late 4th century a.d.), which also proffers Greek óros, "mountain." None of these etymologies seem probable.

aborigine Synonyms

Synonyms
aboriginal, autochthon, indigene (also indigen), native
Antonyms
nonnative
Related Words
primitive
Near Antonyms
alien, foreigner

ABORIGINE Defined for Kids

aborigine

noun ab·orig·i·ne \ ˌa-bə-ˈri-jə-nē \

Definition of aborigine for Students

plural aborigines
:a member of the original people living in a region :native


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up aborigine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to praise usually to excess

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!