adjective in·dig·e·nous \ in-ˈdi-jə-nəs \
|Updated on: 11 Jun 2018

Definition of indigenous

1 : produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment
  • indigenous plants
  • the indigenous culture
2 : innate, inborn





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Examples of indigenous in a Sentence

  1. Viking invaders quickly subdued the indigenous population, known as the Picts. —Jared M. DiamondCollapse2005
  2. Unlike France, Italy relies on dozens of indigenous regional grape varieties for its prodigious range of wines. —Gerald AsherGourmetSeptember 2002
  3. 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. KaplanAn Empire Wilderness1988
  4. There are several indigenous groups that still live in the area.

  5. the culture of the indigenous people of that country

Recent Examples of indigenous from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of indigenous

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

INDIGENOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of indigenous for English Language Learners

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

Medical Dictionary


adjective in·dig·e·nous \ in-ˈdij-ə-nəs \

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



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the quality or state of being insatiable

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