from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Existing in or belonging to one by nature; innate: native ability.
  • adj. Being such by birth or origin: a native Scot.
  • adj. Being one's own because of the place or circumstances of one's birth: our native land.
  • adj. Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region; indigenous: a plant native to Asia.
  • adj. Being a member of the original inhabitants of a particular place.
  • adj. Of, belonging to, or characteristic of such inhabitants: native dress; the native diet of Polynesia.
  • adj. Occurring in nature pure or uncombined with other substances: native copper.
  • adj. Natural; unaffected: native beauty.
  • adj. Archaic Closely related, as by birth or race.
  • adj. Biochemistry Of or relating to the naturally occurring conformation of a macromolecule, such as a protein.
  • n. One born in or connected with a place by birth: a native of Scotland now living in the United States.
  • n. One of the original inhabitants or lifelong residents of a place.
  • n. An animal or plant that originated in a particular place or region.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Belonging to one by birth.
  • adj. Characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from prehistoric times.
  • adj. Of or relating to North American Indians or Aboriginal people.
  • adj. Characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin.
  • adj. Which occurs of its own accord in a given locality, to be contrasted with a species introduced by man.
  • adj. Pertaining to the system or architecture in question.
  • adj. Occurring naturally in its pure or uncombined form; native aluminium, native salt.
  • n. A person who is native to a place (literal or metaphoric).
  • n. A North American Indian or Aboriginal person.
  • n. Sometimes used pejoratively against indigenous peoples by their colonizers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Arising by birth; having an origin; born.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to one's birth; natal; belonging to the place or the circumstances in which one is born; -- opposed to foreign
  • adj. Born in the region in which one lives; ; grown or originating in the region where used or sold; not foreign or imported. In the latter sense, synonymous with domestic.
  • adj. Original; constituting the original substance of anything.
  • adj. Conferred by birth; derived from origin; born with one; inherent; inborn; not acquired
  • adj. Naturally related; cognate; connected (with).
  • adj.
  • adj. Found in nature uncombined with other elements.
  • adj. Found in nature; not artificial.
  • n. One who, or that which, is born in a place or country referred to; a denizen by birth; an animal, a fruit, or vegetable, produced in a certain region.
  • n. Any of the live stock found in a region, as distinguished from such as belong to pure and distinct imported breeds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Coming into existence by birth; having an origin; born.
  • Born of one's self; own.
  • Of or pertaining to one by birth, or the place or circumstances of one's birth: as, native land; native language.
  • Of indigenous origin or growth; not exotic or of foreign origin or production; belonging by birth: as, the native grapes of the South; a native name.
  • Connected by birth; hence, closely related; near.
  • Being the place of birth (of).
  • Conferred by birth; inborn; hereditary; not artificial or acquired; natural.
  • Occurring in nature pure or uncombined with other substances: said of mineral products, and especially of the metals: as, native mercury; native copper: also used to describe any mineral occurring in nature in distinction from the corresponding substance formed artificially: as, galena occurs native and also as a furnace product.
  • Synonyms Natal, Native, Natural. Natal has the narrow meaning of belonging to the event of one's birth; hence it is chiefly used with such words as day, hour, star. Native means conferred by birth: as, native genius; or, belonging by birth or origiu; as, native place, country, language. Natural applies to that which is by nature, as opposed to the work of art. Native eloquence is opposed to that which is acquired; natural eloquence to that which is elaborated by rules.
  • Indigenous, etc. See original.
  • n. One born in a certain place or country, a person or thing which derives its origin from a specified place or country.
  • n. In feudal times, one born a serf or villein, as distinguished from a person who had become so in tiny other way.
  • n. In astrology, a person born under that aspect of the stars which is under consideration.
  • n. In United States politics, same as Knownothing. See American party, under American.
  • n. An oyster raised in a bed other than the natural one.
  • n. Natural source; origin.
  • Peopled with natives or aborigines; not civilized: as, a native region; native country.
  • n. A name given in Australia to the schnapper, Pagrus unicolor, after it has ceased to school. Also called rock-native.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin
  • adj. as found in nature in the elemental form
  • n. an indigenous person who was born in a particular place
  • n. indigenous plants and animals
  • adj. belonging to one by birth
  • n. a person born in a particular place or country
  • adj. characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning


Middle English, from Old French natif, from Latin nātīvus, from nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French natif, from Latin nativus, from natus, ‘birth’. (Wiktionary)


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  • I came to see myself as growing out of the earth like the other native animals and plants. Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008