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 Many cities have moved to take down statues and monuments honoring Confederate figures, and monuments to Christopher Columbus have been criticized because of the explorer's cruel treatment of indigenous people. David Williams, CNN, "Protesters tore down a George Washington statue and set a fire on its head," 19 June 2020 The red paint, plastered over the hands and face of the statue, was said to be a symbol of the blood of millions of indigenous people slaughtered after Columbus’ arrival. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Columbus statue now secured behind fence after being vandalized with 'blood'," 19 June 2020 The indigenous people of the region had been at it for countless centuries. Paul Stephen,, "South Texas staples menudo, rice and barbecue all have African roots," 17 June 2020 Ruiz was glad the show’s creators wanted to feature immigrant groups but also respected that indigenous people were here first by featuring them in an episode. Shaena Montanari, azcentral, "These Arizona Native food experts appear in Hulu's new series starring chef Padma Lakshmi," 17 June 2020 Ross, president at Texas A&M from 1891-1898, was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army and has faced claims of mistreatment of Blacks and indigenous people in Texas. Aria Gerson, USA TODAY, "Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond wants controversial statue removed: 'Let's not forget Sully'," 17 June 2020 Additionally, Proctor’s inspiration for the figure depicted in the statue was a man who Proctor particularly admired for his history of killing indigenous people. oregonlive, "University of Oregon police investigate, president condemns damage to statues," 16 June 2020 Cheers erupted among bystanders who saw the memorial as an affront to indigenous people and an obstacle to greater racial harmony, though several people also arrived to defend the tribute to Oñate. CBS News, "Protester shot during efforts to topple conquistador statue in Albuquerque," 16 June 2020 The struggle for equality exists in many forms around the world, from religious freedom, to gender equality, indigenous people’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Latino rights in the U.S., and other racial and ethnic discrimination. Ramon Laguarta, Fortune, "PepsiCo CEO: “Black Lives Matter, to our company and to me.” What the food and beverage giant will do next," 16 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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The first known use of indigenous was in 1646

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Indigenous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 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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