na·​tive | \ ˈnā-tiv \

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

Though trunk shows have offered customers one of shopping events in the past for Herning the temporary spaces allow digitally native companies to move beyond traditional ideas. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "A New Wave of Size-Inclusive Pop-Ups Is Shaking Up the Holiday Shopping Experience," 5 Dec. 2018 That extends to beauty idol too: The South African native, 43, has been the face of Dior J’adore perfume for 13 years and counting. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Charlize Theron on the Power of Being a Woman," 28 Nov. 2018 This pond brands have to fish in is small and only getting more crowded, which explains why so many digitally-native brands turn to old-school retail methods like opening stores or buying billboards. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Why so many hip startups advertise with snail mail," 1 Nov. 2018 The Alaskan native, known on the Kilcher Homestead for her impressive green thumb, is teaching Charlotte Kilcher and Tela O'Donnell how to properly can food at home. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Exclusive Season Preview of 'Alaska: The Last Frontier' Confronts the Threat of a 'Deadly' Disease," 6 Oct. 2018 The hotel is managed by island native and Greydon House alumnus Kevin Withrow. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "Inside Hotel Pippa, the Buzziest New Place to Stay on Nantucket," 1 Aug. 2018 Short of maintaining your own hive, Matthews says, planting flowers, particularly native wildflowers, is the best thing a person can do to help bees. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Why are these 250,000 bees hanging out on this sweet Downtown Boise rooftop?," 11 July 2018 And for now, while the chip will work with 5G, the spec is not native to the platform: Though the Qualcomm X50 modem will perform 5G millimeter wave and operate in the sub-6GHz spectrum bands, the X50 isn’t integrated into the Snapdragon 855. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Meet Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855: AI boosts, a smarter camera, mobile gaming—and bye-bye, JPEG," 5 Dec. 2018 Western lowland gorillas are native to West Africa and are critically endangered. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "New ape in town: Kwame makes rare alpha-male debut at Woodland Park Zoo," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pulisic, a native of Hershey, Pa., is one of the rare Americans to gamble on soccer abroad so early in his career. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Christian Pulisic Becomes Most Expensive U.S. Soccer Star After Record Transfer," 2 Jan. 2019 When California native Nancy Singleton Hachisu was in her early thirties, searching for her next move, a deep love of sushi and an ear for languages led her to Japan for a year of teaching English abroad. Kate Cunningham, Condé Nast Traveler, "‘Japan: The Cookbook’ Is Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Japanese Cooking," 19 July 2018 Orleans native Wendy Kula, 43, has been surfing in the area for nearly 20 years. Sophia Eppolito And Marek Mazurek,, "On the Cape, tourists and locals take sharks in stride," 9 July 2018 With just nine races left until the Chase begins, such inward reflection is becoming increasingly important for the native of Monterrey, Mexico. Deaundra Allen, charlotteobserver, "Suarez looks to use Coke Zero Sugar 400 as stepping stone," 6 July 2018 But on the other, the Mansfield native is everything the country did want – a regular, unpolished guy who looks out for the underdog. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Why Sherrod Brown could be Democrats' best hope for defeating Donald Trump," 6 July 2018 The Chico native was the quarterback at Cal for two seasons and is a Super Bowl winner and six-time Pro Bowl selection with the Green Bay Packers. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Vince Carter, Chris Webber and Steph Curry walk onto a golf course. What happens next?," 3 July 2018 Hess lasted one more inning, and left having allowed five runs in four innings on seven hits with a pair of walks in what amounted to a homecoming game for the Tennessee native who grew up just a few hours north of Atlanta. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles' David Hess struggles to put Braves away as 7-3 loss denies sweep," 24 June 2018 The payout for the 28-year-old Salt Lake City native still is the fourth-highest of his career. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Tony Finau costs himself $214,372 with double bogey on final hole of U.S. Open," 17 June 2018

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

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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 \

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

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