endemic

as in indigenous
belonging to a particular place by birth or origin the fish is not an endemic species of the lake, and it is rapidly devouring the native trout population

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How is the word endemic distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of endemic are aboriginal, indigenous, and native. While all these words mean "belonging to a locality," endemic implies being peculiar to a region.

a disease endemic in Africa

When might aboriginal be a better fit than endemic?

The words aboriginal and endemic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.

the aboriginal peoples of Australia

When would indigenous be a good substitute for endemic?

While in some cases nearly identical to endemic, 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 is it sensible to use native instead of endemic?

In some situations, the words native and endemic are roughly equivalent. However, 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

“Endemic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/endemic. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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