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 Webb remains aware of the controversies that grip VAR elsewhere, particularly in his native England. Ian Nicholas Quillen, Forbes, "Howard Webb Explains How, Why Major League Soccer Does VAR Differently," 12 Apr. 2021 According to Paul Pira, park biologist, these plants will provide native pollinators with nectar and host plants for their offspring. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Get back to your roots on Earth Day with native plants: Valley Views," 12 Apr. 2021 The drink is nonalcoholic but reportedly has psychoactive properties and is used by some native islanders as a medicinal treatment or during religious ceremonies. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Remote tribes mourning the loss of their god-like figure, Prince Philip," 12 Apr. 2021 The late Mike Flanagan, a Manchester, N.H., native, was one of the better baseball players in UMass history., "A well-deserved salute to UMass athletics and the recently crowned men’s hockey champs," 12 Apr. 2021 Jordan Lyles allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, and D-FW native Trent Grisham hit a go-ahead two-run home run off Wes Benjamin in the seventh inning. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "Offense shows some life following no-hitter, but Rangers lose yet again to Padres," 11 Apr. 2021 Allison Hope is a writer and native New Yorker who favors humor over sadness, travel over television, and coffee over sleep. Allison Hope, CNN, "World Health Day: 5 things the pandemic has revealed about well-being," 7 Apr. 2021 The 22-year-old native New Yorker was a freshman studying creative writing at Columbia University when her agent sent her the script, co-written by Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. Anne Cohen,, "Run’s Kiera Allen Is An Action Star Like You’ve Never Seen Before," 1 Apr. 2021 Shepherd, who also produces, stars as Angela Wright, a native New Yorker who had to give up her musical dreams when her husband died to raise their son, Khalil, played by Tahj Mowry. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Tisha Campbell, Tahj Mowry, and More Join ABC Comedy Pilot, Black Don’t Crack," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Muskego native becomes the third member of Illinois' 2021 class. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Mr. Basketball Brandin Podziemski announces his college commitment," 13 Apr. 2021 Woodson was one, for sure, and the Indianapolis native didn’t speak more than a couple of dozen words at his introductory news conference before mentioning Knight. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Mike Woodson era at IU basketball comes with warm embrace of Bob Knight years," 13 Apr. 2021 The Washington native has coached at Gonzaga for 20 years, developing a reputation as one of college basketball’s best international recruiters. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona basketball coaching search process slammed by Wildcats national title team player," 12 Apr. 2021 That experience turned out to be transformative for the Xi’an native suddenly thrust into a completely different world. Giacomo Tognini, Forbes, "How This Chinese Vaping Billionaire Became One Of The World’s Richest Women In Three Years," 12 Apr. 2021 Senior point guard Kiana Williams has declared for the draft, as has Arizona’s fabulous Aari McDonald, the Fresno native who Stanford had to beat to win the title. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "WNBA draft arrives with women's game rising in popularity, prestige and social power," 12 Apr. 2021 The Greenbrier native went 1 for 8 during the UALR midweek series, but bounced back with four hits — including three extra-base hits — at Ole Miss. Matt Jones, Arkansas Online, "Wallace named SEC freshman of the week," 12 Apr. 2021 In Selling the Big Easy, which premiered in March 2020, the NOLA native helps clients simultaneously find their dream home while also selling their current home for top dollar. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "HGTV Shares Details on Which Series Will Be Returning This Year," 9 Apr. 2021 About to enter his 33rd year of coaching overall, the Starkville, Miss., native was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in January. Ben Thomas |, al, "Back where he belongs: Fairhope’s Stu Fuller returns to dugout after heart surgery," 9 Apr. 2021

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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Native.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on native

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