from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Originating or formed in the place where found; indigenous: synonym: native.
  • adjective Ecology Native to or produced within a system.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In petrol., noting rocks which have originated in situ, such as peat, rock-salt, and stalagmitic limestone; also applied to constituent minerals of rocks which have crystallized in the place they now occupy. Autochthonous materials are contrasted with the mechanically derived particles of clastic rocks.
  • Pertaining to autochthons; indigenous; sprung from the soil; aboriginal.
  • In pathology, not extraneous; originating at the place where found.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Native to the place where found; indigenous.
  • adjective biology, medicine Originating where found.
  • adjective geology Buried in place, especially of a fossil preserved in its life position without disturbance or disarticulation.

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

  • adjective of rocks, deposits, etc.; found where they and their constituents were formed
  • adjective originating where it is found


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Literally, "native to the soil"; from autochthon +‎ -ous.


  • But it was 14-year-old David Tidmarsh of South Bend, Indiana who spelled the final word autochthonous to become this year's champion.

    CNN Transcript Jun 3, 2004

  • There is a very distinct tendency for people of British birth (and now we are using British in another sense of the word) to think of British democracy as something which is their particular property, a kind of autochthonous English growth transported by the English and the Scots to less fortunate portions of the globe.

    This Democratic Empire

  • What follows are his juicy thoughts on the dollar and wine prices, strikes, the summer from hell, Greek wines, the word of the day ( "autochthonous"), and why he's drinking rosé all year long.

    Dr Vino's wine blog

  • b. - by consecuence 85 % are not and a huge porcentage are "autochthonous" and the others are a mix of indigenous and spanish descendants. so even if hollywood represent Mexicans like domestic servants, gardeners and delinquents is very important precise what part of this "society" belongs to.

    Page 2

  • Heroes emerge as autochthonous beings from the nation/state, rising up to defend it in its time of need.

    Andrew Bickford: Shadow Elite: Pat Tillman & Why Soldier Hero Worship Serves the Powerful ... Not the Soldiers

  • Given that they are a fair approximation of pre-Christian european traditions, an argument could be made that they are, in fact, autochthonous (or sprung from theearth) ....

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Do ‘Family Values’ Weaken Families?”

  • I think it's probably best not to get me started on what I really think of the Bonfantes' idea that the Etruscans were autochthonous.

    An etymology for 'Rome'

  • Lors des championnats les plus récents, les mots qui ont permis aux gagnants de remporter la victoire ont été pococurante, autochthonous, appoggiatura, ursprache, serrefine, guerdon et Laodicean.

    Archive 2010-07-01

  • The winning words in recent competitions have included: pococurante; autochthonous; appoggiatura; ursprache; serrefine; guerdon; Laodicean.

    The American Spelling Bee

  • Given that they are a fair approximation of pre-Christian european traditions, an argument could be made that they are, in fact, autochthonous or sprung from theearth....

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Do ‘Family Values’ Weaken Families?”


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  • Synonymous with "aboriginal" when referring to people.

    February 20, 2009

  • Pertaining to substances (organic matter from plankton), materials, or organisms originating within a particular waterway or lake and remaining in that waterway.

    March 6, 2008

  • Contrast with allochthonous, naturally.

    December 29, 2006