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

In 2002 Petrakis, a Winter Park native, was working at the Ritz-Carlton in New York under acclaimed Chef Gabriel Kreuther. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Norman’s Orlando’s 16-year Ritz-Carlton run ends Aug. 31 – but there’s a 2.0 on the horizon," 2 Aug. 2019 Each day more and more globetrotters, like Liberian native Celia (@findingmutanu), discover the wonders of Myanmar and introduce its beauty to the world. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Black Travel Vibes: Myanmar Is The Travel Gem You Didn't Know Existed," 1 Aug. 2019 McLeod and Schmegelsky are wanted in connection with the murders of North Carolina native, Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler, who were found near their van on the side of the road more than a week ago. CBS News, "Police confirm two sightings of teen suspects in Canada highway murders," 26 July 2019 For something out of the ordinary, order the Kulfi pop (Indian ice cream with pistachio and cardamom) or the Akbhar Mashti, from the couple’s native Iran, that features saffron, rosewater, cream, and pistachio. Birmingham Magazine,, "Where to get the best summertime treats in Birmingham," 24 July 2019 Apple snails, which are found in slow-moving streams, ponds and lakes, are native to South America but started appearing in the Lone Star State in the '90s. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "An Invasive Species of Giant Snail is Plaguing One Texas Community," 24 July 2019 Those dead insects include a pill beetle called Simplocaria metallica, which (as far as anyone knows) is native to Greenland, not Canada. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New archaeological layer discovered at L’Anse aux Meadows," 17 July 2019 Cincinnati native Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Byron Mccauley,, "We need more truthtellers like Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose," 16 July 2019 Many immigration consultants speak their native language, claim to charge less than a regular attorney, and understand them culturally. Giulia Mcdonnell Nieto Del Rio,, "Advance notice of ICE raids may push immigrants toward unauthorized legal help," 13 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But those little digital natives, those generation whatevers, are the ones who are turning every aspect of life into a performance in the first place. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Pool parties are soul-crushing spectacles of half-naked strangers posing next to an artificial swamp," 5 Aug. 2019 Bradley, a Los Angeles native, played for eight big league teams across 12 seasons, including California ball teams such as the Dodgers, Athletics and Padres. Los Angeles Times, "Former Dodger Milton Bradley seeks a hit in the Encino housing market," 5 Aug. 2019 Crisp, a Los Angeles native, played with the A’s between 2010 and 2016. Pueng Vongs, The Mercury News, "Photos: Former A’s star Coco Crisp buys Los Angeles mansion," 2 Aug. 2019 Cho, a Springfield native, earned his stripes in New York under celebrity chef April Bloomfield, eventually becoming chef de cuisine at The Breslin, her Ace Hotel restaurant. Michael Russell,, "Han Oak is a Korean sensation found inside the chef’s Northeast Portland home (2019 review)," 1 Aug. 2019 The New Jersey native — now living in Los Angeles — could not be reached for comment. Chris Harris,, "American Idol Season 6 Standout Antonella Barba Faces Minimum 10-Year Sentence Over Fentanyl Arrest," 31 July 2019 Kallman, a Woodbury native, played for the Minnesota Thunder, Minnesota Stars and Minnesota United. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "St. Thomas names football coach Dan O’Brien as interim AD," 30 July 2019 High, a native of upstate New York, moved to Huntington Beach in early 2015, according to relatives. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "2 men arraigned on murder charges in shooting death at H.B. apartment complex; one pleads not guilty," 30 July 2019 Tate, a Claremont native, grew up coming to Angel Stadium, taking in games from the left-field stands. Nathan Ruiz,, "After move to bullpen, Dillon Tate’s call-up to Orioles comes in ballpark he grew up visiting," 28 July 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

7 Aug 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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