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 The community is largely made up of native Alaskans, especially Neets’ai Gwich’in descendants, and has a tribal government, according to the Tanana Chiefs Conference. Tara Law, Time, "5-Year-Old Carried a Toddler Through Minus 31-Degree Weather After Left Alone in Alaska Home," 8 Dec. 2019 Following suit in Lulu Wang’s The Farewell with its predominantly Mandarin dialogue, Eram speaks solely in her native tongue. Umber Bhatti, Teen Vogue, ""Hala" Has Created a Fiery Debate Around Muslim Representation in Film," 6 Dec. 2019 Adkins ran for governor in the Democratic primary election in May, but after losing to Beshear, joined his gubernatorial campaign, promoting Beshear throughout Adkins' native Eastern Kentucky. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin fires off order aimed at curbing Rocky Adkins' pension," 5 Dec. 2019 So buckthorn can be combated if native species are planted around it and shade out the buckthorn. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "U of M center battles hungry invasives," 2 Dec. 2019 Others take the days off to teach children their native languages, revisit their creation stories, and overall connect with their culture. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "How to talk to kids about Thanksgiving so that they really get it," 26 Nov. 2019 Hunting, particularly for the numerous invasive animals that have been introduced to Texas and don’t have natural predators, helps protect native species. Paul Stephen,, "With Texas deer hunting season open, here’s how to cook all that venison," 13 Nov. 2019 According to Picone, planting native species in gardens and communities is increasingly important because indigenous insects, birds and wildlife rely on them., "Community News For The Glastonbury Edition," 8 Nov. 2019 Many Mexican Catholics believe that in 1531 the Virgin appeared to Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican farmer, and in his native language of Nahuatl told him to build a shrine to her. Kirby Farah, The Conversation, "Day of the Dead: From Aztec goddess worship to modern Mexican celebration," 28 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When visiting, don’t miss the unique work of Lisa Schumaier, a mixed media sculptor and native of Alexandria who creates whimsical animals and beasts in the style of raku ceramics. al, "Plan the ultimate holiday getaway to this historic Virginia town," 9 Dec. 2019 Matt is a Ball State graduate, a native of Indiana and a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. Brant Parsons,, "UCF podcast: The Knights find out their bowl destination," 8 Dec. 2019 The native of Guinea who was a prize prospect playing in France has grown to love his first-season assignment with the Grand Rapids Drive, the G-League affiliate of the Pistons. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "'G-League isn't intramurals': Detroit Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya learning the hard way," 8 Dec. 2019 Wozniacki, a native of Denmark who represented her country at three Olympics, turned pro in 2005 at the age of 15. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki announces she will retire after 2020 Australian Open," 6 Dec. 2019 Cafe Aura’s menu was developed by chef Erminio Conte, a native of Italy and chef-founder of Prime 1024 in Roslyn, N.Y., who has studied and practiced throughout Europe. Leeanne Griffin,, "Geno Auriemma’s Cafe Aura to open in former Cavey’s space on Dec. 10," 5 Dec. 2019 Suzman, a native of South Africa, joined the foundation in 2007 as director of global development policy and advocacy, becoming president in 2012 and taking on the additional responsibilities of the foundation’s first chief strategy officer in 2016. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann to step down," 5 Dec. 2019 The members — all natives of South Carolina — see their music as a way to share Gullah culture, which developed in communities of former slaves and their descendants living on the the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Deborah Martin,, "Ranky Tanky bringing good times to Carver Community Cultural Center," 3 Dec. 2019 Pryor, a native of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the start of this season, according to Ray Sanchez, CNN, "NFL free agent Terrelle Pryor stabbed in his Pittsburgh apartment," 30 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for native

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for native

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Native.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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

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