au·​toch·​thon ȯ-ˈtäk-thən How to pronounce autochthon (audio)
plural autochthons or autochthones ȯ-ˈtäk-thə-ˌnēz How to pronounce autochthon (audio)
: one (such as a person, plant, or animal) that is autochthonous

Examples of autochthon in a Sentence

the remains of a settlement once occupied by the island's autochthons are much older than previously thought

Word History


borrowed from Latin authochthon-, autochthōn "original inhabitant, native," borrowed from Greek autochthon-, autóchthōn "of the earth itself, indigenous," from auto- auto- + chthon-, chthṓn "ground, earth, earth as the abode of humans" — more at humble entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1538, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autochthon was circa 1538

Dictionary Entries Near autochthon

Cite this Entry

“Autochthon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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