autochthonous

adjective au·toch·tho·nous \ ȯ-ˈtäk-thə-nəs \
|Updated on: 29 May 2018

Definition of autochthonous

1 : indigenous, native
  • an autochthonous people
  • autochthonous plants
2 : formed or originating in the place where found
  • autochthonous rock
  • an autochthonous infection

autochthonously

adverb

autochthonous was our Word of the Day on 07/13/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of autochthonous in a Sentence

  1. an illegally introduced Asian fish that has virtually wiped out the lake's autochthonous species

Recent Examples of autochthonous from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Ancient Athenians considered their ancestors the primordial inhabitants of their land, as if sprung from the very soil of the region they inhabited. Their word for any true-born Athenian, "autochthōn," itself springs from auto-, meaning "self," and chthōn, meaning "earth." Nowadays, the English adjective "autochthonous" is often used in somewhat meaty scientific or anthropological writing (as in "several autochthonous cases of fever broke out in the region"), but it was a "bready" context in which it made its debut. Observed English literary critic William Taylor in 1805: "The English have this great predilection for autochthonous bread and butter" (rather than French bread, one might safely presume).

Origin and Etymology of autochthonous

Other Biology Terms


Medical Dictionary

autochthonous

adjective au·toch·tho·nous \ (ˈ)ȯ-ˈtäk-thə-nəs \

medical Definition of autochthonous

1 a : indigenous or endemic to a region
  • autochthonous malaria
b : contracted in the area where reported
  • autochthonous cases of malaria in the United States
2 : originated in that part of the body where found used chiefly of pathological conditions

autochthonously

play \-lē\ adverb

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