indigenous

Synonym Chooser

How is the word indigenous distinct from other similar adjectives?

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

In what contexts can aboriginal take the place of indigenous?

The synonyms aboriginal and indigenous are sometimes interchangeable, but aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.

the aboriginal peoples of Australia

When could endemic be used to replace indigenous?

While the synonyms endemic and indigenous are close in meaning, endemic implies being peculiar to a region.

a disease endemic in Africa

When is it sensible to use native instead of indigenous?

The words native and indigenous can be used in similar contexts, but 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

“Indigenous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/indigenous. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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