na·​tive | \ ˈnā-tiv How to pronounce native (audio) \

Definition of native

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : inborn, innate native talents
2 : belonging to a particular place by birth a native New Yorker
3 archaic : closely related
4 : belonging to or associated with one by birth hailed in his native Sweden as an influential dramatist— William Peden
5 : natural, normal a generosity that was native to him
6a : grown, produced, or originating in a particular place or in the vicinity : local native fruits and vegetables
b : living or growing naturally in a particular region : indigenous native wildlife of Australia
7 : simple, unaffected our feeling still native and entire, unsophisticated by pedantry— Edmund Burke
8a : constituting the original substance or source the way I must return to native dust— John Milton
b : found in nature especially in an unadulterated form mining native silver
9 chiefly Australia : having a usually superficial (see superficial sense 2) resemblance to a specified English plant or animal
10 capitalized : of, relating to, or being a member of an indigenous people of North or South America : native american



Definition of native (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one born or reared in a particular place
2a : an original or indigenous inhabitant
b : something indigenous to a particular locality
3 : a local resident especially : a person who has always lived in a place as distinguished from a visitor or a temporary resident

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Other Words from native


natively adverb
nativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for native

Synonyms: Adjective

aboriginal, autochthonous, born, domestic, endemic, indigenous

Synonyms: Noun

local, localite, townie (or towny), year-rounder

Antonyms: Adjective

nonindigenous, nonnative

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Choose the Right Synonym for native


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 native in a Sentence


people who are native to France She has a native ability to learn quickly. The island is home to several native species of trees.


She's a native of France who moved to the United States when she was 15. He wishes he could speak Spanish like a native. The plant is a native of Central and South America.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This year, The Children’s Museum is featuring some new and different native species., "Community News For The West Hartford Edition," 6 July 2019 As part of this new initiative, Apple is bringing some of its native iOS apps over to Mac, including Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos, and Home. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "What to Look Forward to in MacOS Catalina," 6 July 2019 But after delivering a championship to his native Northeast Ohio in 2016, who can argue with that?, "LeBron James finally comments on his banner coming down in Cleveland," 5 July 2019 Goose meat tastes better than chicken and the money could be used for conservation of native species and restoration of parklands. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Some geese have got to go — culling is the logical and humane response," 4 July 2019 Many European languages have case and it is also found in many unrelated languages (among them Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Dyirbal, and many native Australian languages). Michelle Sheehan, Quartz, "Five reasons English speakers struggle to learn other languages," 3 July 2019 All-American and 1980 SEC Player of the Year Kyle Macy is the Wildcats best No. 4 with Louisville native Rajon Rondo also worthy of consideration. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Who wore it better? Current Kentucky basketball players carry history in jersey numbers," 3 July 2019 New York vintners are experimenting with native grapes that are more hardy—but those aren't as popular with drinkers. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Climate change means more pesticides in your wine," 3 July 2019 Paredes, whose name was on the diocese's list, fled Dallas almost a year ago and is believed to be living in his native Philippines. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "Another priest added to Dallas Catholic diocese's 'credibly accused' list for 1960 sexual abuse allegation," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The five-foot-eleven, 185-pound native of Staten Island, NY, was selected by San Jose in the 2014 NHL Draft (sixth round, 171st overall). Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News, "Sharks sign RFA Kevin Labanc to one-year deal," 8 July 2019 The aptitude gods rewarded the Clippers over the weekend: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, two natives of Southern California, are returning home to play for the team. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "The Los Angeles Clippers Won Kawhi Leonard and Paul George by Winning," 7 July 2019 And for about two days, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti, a Concord native, dangled George to the Toronto Raptors and the Clippers. Gary Washburn,, "Could the Celtics reap the rewards of Kawhi Leonard’s signing with the Clippers?," 7 July 2019 In order to sign Thaddeus Young, the Bulls waived guards Shaquille Harrison and Walt Lemon Jr. Lemon, a Chicago native, played well for the Bulls in meaningless games down the stretch last season. K.c. Johnson,, "NBA Summer League resumes after an ‘awe-inspiring’ earthquake, though the show goes on without No. 1 pick Zion Williamson," 6 July 2019 Dye, an Elbert County native, knew how to swim, Seymour said. Alexis Stevens, ajc, "JUST IN: Former Elbert County, Clemson RB drowns in lake," 6 July 2019 The Brewers made Kodi Medeiros, a Hilo native, the 12th overall pick in 2014; Yamamoto, who bested Medeiros in a state quarterfinal game that spring, was their 12th-round pick. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Part of the Christian Yelich trade, Marlins rookie Jordan Yamamoto inspires hope in Miami," 5 July 2019 The 28-year-old Moreno Valley native, who played at San Diego State, represents the most important free agent signing in the history of a franchise that, prior to Friday, never had been a destination for top stars in their prime. Andrew Greif, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kawhi Leonard to sign with Clippers, who also trade for Paul George," 5 July 2019 The thirty-one-year-old Chicago native started his career in New York City in 2006 with just $200 in his pocket, walking right into an open-mic night at a comedy club. Longreads, "How the Cosby Story Finally Went Viral — And Why It Took So Long," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'native.' 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 native


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for native

Adjective and Noun

Middle English natif, from Middle French, from Latin nativus, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation

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Statistics for native

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for native

The first known use of native was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for native



English Language Learners Definition of native

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: born in a particular place
used to refer to the place where a person was born and raised
: belonging to a person since birth or childhood



English Language Learners Definition of native (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who was born or raised in a particular place
: a person from a group of people who were living in an area (such as South America or Africa) when Europeans first arrived
: a kind of plant or animal that originally grew or lived in a particular place


na·​tive | \ ˈnā-tiv How to pronounce native (audio) \

Kids Definition of native

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : born in a certain place or country He's a native Belgian.
2 : belonging to a person because of place of birth His parents speak their native language at home.
3 : living or growing naturally in a certain region native plants
4 : grown, produced, or coming from a certain place native tomatoes native art
5 : natural sense 3 He's a swimmer with native ability.



Kids Definition of native (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who was born in or comes from a particular place
2 : a kind of plant or animal that originally grew or lived in a particular place


na·​tive | \ ˈnāt-iv How to pronounce native (audio) \

Medical Definition of native

1 : belonging to or associated with one by birth
2 : living or growing naturally in a particular region
3a : constituting the original substance or source
b : found in nature especially in an unadulterated form conversion of a native protein to a denatured protein

Other Words from native

natively adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on native

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with native

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for native

Spanish Central: Translation of native

Nglish: Translation of native for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of native for Arabic Speakers

Comments on native

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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