Meaning of NATIVE in English


I. na ‧ tive 1 S3 W3 /ˈneɪtɪv/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: French ; Origin: natif , from Latin nativus , from natus ; ⇨ ↑ nation ]

1 . COUNTRY [only before noun] your native country, town etc is the place where you were born ⇨ home :

They never saw their native land again.

He spent most of his professional life outside his native Poland.

2 . native New Yorker/population/inhabitants etc a person or people who come from or have always lived in a particular place

3 . native language/tongue the language you spoke when you first learned to speak SYN first language :

English is not the native language for almost half of our overseas visitors.

4 . PLANT/ANIMAL growing, living, produced etc in one particular place SYN indigenous :

Singapore has many native species of palm.

native to

These fish are native to North America.

5 . ART/CUSTOM [only before noun] native customs, traditions etc are related to people who lived in a particular country before European people arrived there:

the native traditions of Peru

stalls selling native jewelry

native folklore

6 . NATURAL [only before noun] a native ability is one that you have naturally from birth:

her native wit

7 . go native to behave, dress, or speak like the people who live in the country where you have come to stay or work – used humorously:

Austen has been living in New Guinea so long he’s gone native.

II. native 2 BrE AmE noun [countable]

1 . a person who was born in a particular place

native of

a native of Switzerland

2 . someone who lives in a place all the time or has lived there a long time

native of

He has become a native of Glasgow.

3 . [usually plural] not polite a word used by white people in the past to refer to the people who lived in America, Africa, southern Asia etc before European people arrived, now considered offensive:

He was not certain whether the natives were friendly.

4 . a plant or animal that grows or lives naturally in a place

native of

The bear was once a native of Britain.

• • •


▪ citizen someone who lives in a particular town, country, or state:

In order to become a US citizen, you need to have a Permanent Resident card.


All British citizens have the right to live in the UK.


Good citizens understand that they have a responsibility to the community.

▪ national a citizen of a country who is living in another country:

She insisted that foreign nationals were safe in the country.


Russians nationals were ordered to leave.


Her husband is a French national.

▪ resident someone who lives in a particular street or area:

There have been complaints by local residents about the building work.


She was a resident of Chicago for many years.

▪ native someone who was born in a particular country but moved to another country – used when describing a person or their life:

Picasso was a native of Spain, although he spent much of his life in France.

▪ subject someone who was born in a country that has a king or queen, and has a right to live there:

Northern Ireland citizens are British subjects.

▪ alien formal someone who is not a legal citizen of the country they are living or working in - used in official contexts:

Employers cannot hire illegal aliens.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.