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as in aborigine
a member of the first people to inhabit a region the anthropologist spent two years living among the island's natives and observing and documenting their customs and traditions

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How is the word native distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of native are aboriginal, endemic, and indigenous. While all these words mean "belonging to a locality," native implies birth or origin in a place or region and may suggest compatibility with it.

native tribal customs

When can aboriginal be used instead of native?

The meanings of aboriginal and native largely overlap; however, aboriginal implies having no known others preceding in occupancy of a particular region.

the aboriginal peoples of Australia

In what contexts can endemic take the place of native?

The synonyms endemic and native are sometimes interchangeable, but endemic implies being peculiar to a region.

a disease endemic in Africa

When might indigenous be a better fit than native?

The words indigenous and native are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near native

Cite this Entry

“Native.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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