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 In the Amazon region, where river traffic flows freely in and out of Brazil, the virus has spread to devastating effect, with some indigenous communities very badly affected. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Populists Inflame the Coronavirus Outbreak Across Latin America," 2 July 2020 Colombia’s army has long been at loggerheads with indigenous communities, which have often tried to keep armed groups like the military, leftist rebels and drug traffickers away from their territories. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 1, 2020," 1 July 2020 Among many of the country’s indigenous communities, the day is yet another reminder of Canada’s complicated colonial history. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Canada Day marks the country’s birth—but not its independence," 1 July 2020 Growing up in an indigenous First Nations Cree family in Manitoba, Canada, was the best of culinary times. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Buck Naked Kitchen: How an indigenous Canadian upbringing inspired this healthy cookbook," 1 July 2020 The Rosewood Mayakoba land thrived during this time; hundreds of indigenous plants and animals really flourished over the past few months. Rachel King, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: Inside the reopening of an ultra-luxury resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya," 30 June 2020 One step in particular that San Francisco officials failed to take, Gould said, was including indigenous voices in the conversation about the Columbus statue’s removal. Annie Vainshtein,, "In reckoning with oppression, don’t rush to replace statues, Bay Area indigenous leaders say," 29 June 2020 Galvez said that resources need to continue to be translated into more languages, including the indigenous Central American languages that some farmworkers speak. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Farmworker advocates worry Oregon’s protections won’t keep laborers safe from coronavirus as harvest season ramps up," 28 June 2020 However, among the dozens of indigenous communities in the region, they are known for their shamans, who oversee the use of the plant mixture Ayahuasca in healing rituals. Gena Somra, CNN, "In this indigenous village, two nurses care for hundreds of Covid-19 patients," 23 June 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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indigenous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 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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