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 The hosts also learn about biopiracy, taking indigenous plants from one country or area illegally and growing them in another country. Lia Beck,, "Zac Efron’s New Netflix Travel Show Isn’t Really About Travel," 13 July 2020 Bebb's Willow is a species indigenous to Canada and the northern United States. Michaela Chesin, The Arizona Republic, "In a meadow outside Flagstaff, a restoration project will cut down trees to save a landscape," 12 July 2020 The son of a cacique (chief) from the Vale do Javari, an indigenous territory in the Brazilian Amazon larger than Austria, he was converted by a missionary from another ethnic group and became a pastor himself. The Economist, "Christianity, covid, contact A religious challenge to “no contact” with isolated indigenous groups," 11 July 2020 Now the Oregon Health Authority, in collaboration with the nonprofit Vive Northwest, is expanding translation and interpretation services to the local call center for indigenous Guatemalans to access resources. oregonlive, "Amid Lincoln County COVID outbreak, community partners work to reach indigenous Guatemalan community," 11 July 2020 The genetic signatures showed a strong connection to the Zenu, an indigenous group from Colombia. Nectar Gan, CNN, "Indigenous Americans had contact with Polynesians 800 years ago, DNA study confirms," 9 July 2020 With roots traced to the Torres Strait Islands in his home country, Mills is one of two indigenous Australians to have played in an NBA game. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs’ Patty Mills pledges to play for social justice," 8 July 2020 In the monument, Roosevelt towers over an indigenous man and a black man, whose roles in the bronze—beyond literalizing the myth of white supremacy through their subordinate placement—are to carry Roosevelt’s guns. Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, "The Removal of a Theodore Roosevelt Statue Is a Good First Step in Rethinking America’s Monuments," 1 July 2020 The movement in Australia focuses on the mistreatment of indigenous Australians, including Aboriginal deaths in law enforcement custody. NBC News, "Far-right demonstrators gather in London to 'protect' symbols of UK history," 13 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

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indigenous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 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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