in·​dig·​e·​nous | \ in-ˈdi-jə-nəs How to pronounce indigenous (audio) \

Definition of indigenous

1 : produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment indigenous plants the indigenous culture

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Other Words from indigenous

indigenously adverb
indigenousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for indigenous



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Choose the Right Synonym for indigenous

native, indigenous, endemic, aboriginal mean belonging to a locality. native implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it. native tribal customs indigenous applies to that which is not only native but which, as far as can be determined, has never been introduced or brought from elsewhere. indigenous plants endemic implies being peculiar to a region. a disease endemic in Africa aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region. the aboriginal peoples of Australia

Examples of indigenous in a Sentence

Viking invaders quickly subdued the indigenous population, known as the Picts. — Jared M. Diamond, Collapse, 2005 Unlike France, Italy relies on dozens of indigenous regional grape varieties for its prodigious range of wines. — Gerald Asher, Gourmet, September 2002 Though Gilded Age architecture was not indigenous to America, at least it was borrowed from belle epoque Europe, from which much of America's late-nineteenth-century culture evolved. — Robert D. Kaplan, An Empire Wilderness, 1988 There are several indigenous groups that still live in the area. the culture of the indigenous people of that country
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Recent Examples on the Web Native concerns such as missing and murdered indigenous women, broken treaties or land and water rights seem to many to be of greater importance. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Carolina Castoreno-Santana won't stop fighting to change Indianapolis baseball team name," 19 Oct. 2020 But that truism is losing some of its hold in the Amazon, where Mongabay reports a new study found mining now covers more than 20% of indigenous land. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Low-emission metal, green hydrogen and electric buses," 17 Oct. 2020 Morales, the country's larger-than-life, first indigenous president, had been credited for a years-long effort to lower poverty and grow the economy, spearheading a campaign to nationalize certain industries that delivered positive results. Matt Rivers, CNN, "National elections loom after a brutal year for Bolivia," 17 Oct. 2020 They are surrounded by other flora and fauna indigenous to Connecticut: great blue heron, blackback gull, black sea bass, peregrine falcon, white-tailed deer, loggerhead turtle, etc. Susan Dunne,, "CT Art Trail celebrates 25th anniversary with exhibit at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford," 16 Oct. 2020 But the lands where those trees grow were taken from an indigenous group known as the Mapuche. Eduardo Thomson,, "Amid Fire and Clashes, Chile’s Mapuche See Road to Reparations," 15 Oct. 2020 But the experiences haven’t mitigated Tobin’s pride in his name and his heritage — his family includes people with Jewish, Irish Catholic and indigenous Canadian roots. Josefin Dolsten,, "When Christian is Jewish: Living a Jewish life with a non-Jewish name," 14 Oct. 2020 The situation in the Amazon grows steadily more dire, and a big reason is that indigenous leaders across the region are under assault from Brazil’s government. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Most Important Global Forecast That You’ve Never Heard Of," 14 Oct. 2020 As more and more communities recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day, the question of how best to celebrate indigenous people arises. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Tribal Map of America Shows Whose Land You're Actually Living On," 12 Oct. 2020

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

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First Known Use of indigenous

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for indigenous

Late Latin indigenus, from Latin indigena, noun, native, from Old Latin indu, endo in, within + Latin gignere to beget — more at end-, kin

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Time Traveler for indigenous

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The first known use of indigenous was in 1646

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indigenous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for indigenous


How to pronounce indigenous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of indigenous

: produced, living, or existing naturally in a particular region or environment


in·​dig·​e·​nous | \ in-ˈdij-ə-nəs How to pronounce indigenous (audio) \

Medical Definition of indigenous

1 : having originated in and being produced, growing, or living naturally in a particular region or environment a disease indigenous to the tropics colonization by small numbers of indigenous enteric bacteria— C. M. Kunin et al
2 : being inborn or innate a type of behavior that is indigenous to human beings

Other Words from indigenous

indigenously adverb

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