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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Previously, the pair met in the Dominican Republic as Kara was visiting Guillermo's native country for a business trip. Dory Jackson,, 4 May 2022 In death as in life, Ms. Albright evoked the eternal struggle between democracy and autocracy that flared again in her final days in a land not far from her own native country. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 The Russian Americans are horrified by the violence, and wary about the crackdown in their native country. Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2022 Though these movies have long been hard to see outside of her native country, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will screen all six in May in new 4K restorations. cleveland, 22 Apr. 2022 The singer, the source added, intends to give birth in Barbados , her native country. ELLE, 21 Apr. 2022 The topic has been debated in my native country of Finland for decades. Marja Heinonen, CNN, 14 Apr. 2022 His lawyers argued Ahmed wouldn't get a fair trial amid the corruption in the Iraqi justice system and would likely face execution if he were forced back to his native country. Jacques Billeaud, The Arizona Republic, 4 Apr. 2022 Acton became interested in gymnastics as a young boy walking the beaches of his native country Turkey, often practicing in his backyard. Kala Kachmar, The Courier-Journal, 29 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rabbi Matt Cohen, a Cleveland native who grew up in Beachwood, was named in November to succeed Denker as the temple’s next rabbi. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, 6 May 2022 The 6-foot-8 forward — a native of Easley, S.C. — has three seasons of eligibility remaining. Creg Stephenson |, al, 6 May 2022 Andrea Williams, a Louisville native who moved out of state after graduating from Male High School in 1990, has been coming to Kentucky Derby week races with her friends for more than a decade. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2022 King, a Long Beach native, joined a chorus of athletes who opposed the potential erosion of reproductive protections. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 Purifoy-Smoots, a Milwaukee native, joined the department in 2003. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Hardy is a Louisiana native who lives in Livingston Parish. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 Kampschroeder, a native of Naperville, Illinois, is the first McDonald's All-American to join the Michigan women's basketball roster. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, 2 May 2022 One touching exhibit is the uniform of Rodney Davis, a Macon native who received the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War. Candice Dyer, ajc, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for native

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near native



Native American

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Statistics for native

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Native.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for native


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 : existing, living, or growing originally or 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

More from Merriam-Webster on native

Nglish: Translation of native for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of native for Arabic Speakers


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