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

Officers still aren’t sure where the bird native to Australia escaped from, the Bee reported. Fox News, "California Highway Patrol officers capture fugitive emu on freeway," 15 Sep. 2019 The presence of these artifacts is evidence, archaeologists say, that native people in Northern California carried on their traditions and maintained tribal ties much longer than many historians thought. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: A pretty penny for a piece of PG&E," 9 Sep. 2019 It is said that the arm represents the death of native people., "Should Massachusetts replace its state flag?," 7 Sep. 2019 The meaning of that event has undergone significant revisions over time, morphing from a comforting tale of new arrivals and native people peacefully coexisting into one of land grabs, enslavement, rape and genocide. New York Times, "A State Wrestles With Its Imagery: A Sword Looming Over a Native American," 7 Sep. 2019 A week ago, Dior published a video on its YouTube channel about how the film sought to ensure the portrayal of native peoples was accurate and respectful. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Dior partnered with a Native American group for its controversial ad. But does it matter?," 30 Aug. 2019 Hajos was not required to have a permit to breed the birds, which are native to Australia, New Guinea or other South Pacific islands. Eve Rosen,, "Bird in deadly Florida attack severed artery in man’s arm," 28 Aug. 2019 The behavioral ecologist studies Anolis sagrei, the brown anole, a small lizard native to the Caribbean and introduced in Florida. Ethan Baron, The Mercury News, "Lizards gone wild! UC Berkeley researcher’s ‘feminist science’ bucks male-dominated inquiry," 22 Aug. 2019 Greenland, a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, is more than three times the size of Texas, with about 56,000 inhabitants, most of them indigenous peoples native to the island. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Trump Reportedly Wants To Buy Greenland. Greenland Says: No, Thank You," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of those let go was 64-year-old Glenn Tufts, a Middleboro native who now lives in Bridgewater., "Wilson Ramos,," 15 Sep. 2019 Many Hong Kong native's, however, saw this as a sign of increasing mainland interference in the city's affairs, resulting in the mass protests, eventually causing leader Carrie Lam to withdraw the bill. Ben Morse, CNN, "Hong Kong Tennis Open postponed amid ongoing protests," 13 Sep. 2019 Needy, 49, of 1823 Roanoke Ave., a Louisville native, had three grown children., "Standard Gravure remembered: Here are all the victims from the 1989 mass shooting," 12 Sep. 2019 An East County native, Lutz rose to prominence in San Diego because of his work advocating for election reforms and the removal of nuclear waste at San Onofre. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Local activist Ray Lutz creates campaign committee for 53rd Congressional District," 12 Sep. 2019 This week, the 49ers are practicing at Youngstown State where Pelini, a Youngstown native, is the head coach. Eric Branch,, "A Dwight Clark call helped pave the way for Bo Pelini’s football career," 12 Sep. 2019 Nick, a British native, was leaving his home in London for a business trip in Houston, while Diane was returning to her native Texas after a family vacation in the U.K. Then unspeakable tragedy struck. Nick Maslow,, "Husband and Wife Who Met While Stranded Because of 9/11 Reveal the Lesson of Their Love Story," 11 Sep. 2019 Matthew Shafer, a Macomb County native who goes by the stage name Uncle Kracker, is named in the complaint that was filed late Sunday, Sheriff's Sgt. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Uncle Kracker named in police complaint after altercation at Macomb County bar," 10 Sep. 2019 The title comes from the fact that Oakland natives are being gentrified out of their homes — and that the amount of black and brown people is decreasing, just like the amount of polar bears are in the North Pole. Bianca Betancourt, Teen Vogue, "Rosario Dawson-Produced "The North Pole" Is Ready to Tackle Immigration in New Season 2 Clip," 9 Sep. 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

18 Sep 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

What made you want to look up native? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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