aboriginal 1 of 2

as in indigenous
belonging to a particular place by birth or origin the aboriginal peoples of northern Alaska are known as Inupiats, which in their language literally means "real people"

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aboriginal

2 of 2

noun

as in aborigine
a member of the first people to inhabit a region they still speak the language of the region's aboriginals

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How is the word aboriginal distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of aboriginal are endemic, indigenous, and native. While all these words mean "belonging to a locality," aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.

the aboriginal peoples of Australia

When is it sensible to use endemic instead of aboriginal?

Although the words endemic and aboriginal have much in common, endemic implies being peculiar to a region.

a disease endemic in Africa

Where would indigenous be a reasonable alternative to aboriginal?

The synonyms indigenous and aboriginal are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When would native be a good substitute for aboriginal?

While in some cases nearly identical to aboriginal, native implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it.

native tribal customs

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Cite this Entry

“Aboriginal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/aboriginal. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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