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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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

Adjective people who are native to France She has a native ability to learn quickly. The island is home to several native species of trees. Noun 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 Picone will focus on how native plants are best at providing songbirds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects with food and cover through the seasons., "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 November 22 Princess Day event features special guests, native dancers The Woodlands Children’s Museum presents Princess Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 22. Houston Chronicle, "Nov. 14-23: Holiday markets, ‘Frozen Jr.’ to delight community," 8 Nov. 2019 The native forest that once covered these hillsides is now largely gone, much of it cut during recent decades for timber and firewood, and cleared to plant crops. David Quammen, National Geographic, "‘I am scared all the time’: Chimps and people are clashing in rural Uganda," 8 Nov. 2019 The Jets, impressed with a New York native’s proven track record of jumping into seemingly impossible situations and finding a way to win, wanted to give Rhule their head coach job. Mike Finger,, "Having stuck with Baylor, Matt Rhule has a big chance," 7 Nov. 2019 Johnson, a native Chicagoan, held just about every rank in his more than three decades career on the force. CBS News, "Chicago top cop Eddie Johnson announces retirement," 7 Nov. 2019 In reports to regulators, the school tied the low exam scores to numerous other factors, including: A large share of non-native English-speaking students. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "St. Paul College nursing program in danger as exam scores plummet," 5 Nov. 2019 Ivanovic enjoyed a playing career that started in his native Serbia in the Red Star Belgrade academy. Pardeep Cattry, Pro Soccer USA, "Milan Ivanovic joins USWNT as Vlatko Andonovski’s assistant coach," 5 Nov. 2019 Or Rodion Raskolnikov, the starving, disaffected failure in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, whom Kinnaman once played in a four-hour stage production in his native Sweden. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Swedish Character Actor Who Became an American Action Hero," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Susannah is an animal lover, Florida native and University of Florida grad. Susannah Bryan,, "World War II veteran returns to training grounds for walk down memory lane," 11 Nov. 2019 Look for defensive tackle Aaron Donald, a Pittsburgh native and former standout at the University of Pittsburgh, to produce a big game in his hometown. oregonlive, "Los Angeles Rams vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Live score updates, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 10 Nov. 2019 The signs and costumes were in full effect, and this time the show invited a Bama fan to make the pics in Mobile native and then-Boston Red Sox pitcher Jake Peavy. Ben Flanagan |, al, "ESPN in Tuscaloosa: What happened every time ‘College GameDay’ and ‘SEC Nation’ came to town," 7 Nov. 2019 Haskins and Jones, Maryland natives and top-100 players in the Class of 2016, flipped their commitments from Maryland to Ohio State. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Justin Fields, Joe Burrow could have seen futures changed by Maryland coach Mike Locksley," 5 Nov. 2019 Cindric, an Indianapolis native and graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, has been president of Penske Racing since 2006. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "IMS, IndyCar have been sold to Penske. But what does it mean?," 4 Nov. 2019 Played by Jürgen Hooper, an actor married to Louisville native and actress Blair Robertson, Zazu is equal parts funny and stodgy and provides an ample amount of comic relief in Act I of the production. Kathryn Gregory, The Courier-Journal, "'The Lion King' roars into Louisville with stunning costumes and vibrant choreography," 2 Nov. 2019 Earlier this year, Mount Healthy native and community activist Rev. Angelo Brice sued the school board, charging a violation of the open meetings law. James Pilcher,, "Mt. Healthy school board faces transparency suit, claim of wasted tax money as election nears," 1 Nov. 2019 Two batters earlier, Houston native and Rice University alum Anthony Rendon put the Nationals on the board with a solo home run off Astros starter Zack Greinke. NBC News, "Washington Nationals beat Houston Astros in Game 7 to win franchise's first World Series," 31 Oct. 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

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for native

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

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More Definitions for native


How to pronounce native (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for native

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with native

Spanish Central: Translation of native

Nglish: Translation of native for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of native for Arabic Speakers

Comments on native

What made you want to look up native? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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