Meaning of NATIVE in English


I. ˈnād.]iv, -āt], ]ēv also ]əv adjective

Etymology: Middle English natif, from Middle French, from Latin nativus, from natus (past participle of nasci to be born) + -ivus -ive — more at nation

1. : belonging to one by nature : conferred by birth : derived from origin : born with one : not acquired : inherent , inborn

a native shrewdness and an ability to make the right decision by instinct — A.J.P.Taylor

ambition and native aptitude — Bertrand Russell

a certain native capacity is needed to meet academic requirements — W.K.Hicks

2. : belonging to or associated with a particular place (as a region or country) by birth

native artists left the state and studied … abroad — American Guide Series: Michigan

a native Englishman

3. archaic : closely related (as by birth or race)

the head is not more native to the heart … than is the throne of Denmark to thy father — Shakespeare


a. : of, relating to, or connected with one as a result of birth in a given place or circumstances

hailed in his native Sweden as an influential dramatist — William Peden

returned to his native countryside — I.M.Price

my foot is on my native heath — Sir Walter Scott

b. : belonging to or associated with one by birth into a particular region or people

native language

native costume


a. : according to nature : natural , normal

think France and England … the native leaders of Europe — Janet Flanner

if fiction chooses to abandon its native approach — Bernard DeVoto

— often used with following to

sitting there, as native to the stool as a cat — Jean Stafford

b. : naturally implied or involved (as in a text or term) : not forced in interpretation or construction

the native sense of a word


a. : grown, produced, or originating in a particular place (as a region or country) : not foreign or exotic

whose paintings retained a native quality despite his close familiarity with the styles of European art — American Guide Series: Pennsylvania

the Edinburgh groat … was the first native coin of Scotland — advt

the first native use of the harp in Ireland — Richard Hayward

b. : grown, produced, or originating in the vicinity : not transported from a distant region : local

your requirements are either native or nearby — Delaware

a one-story structure of native stone — Seth King

c. : living or growing naturally in a given region : indigenous

tobacco is native to the American continent — C.H.Thienes

where tropical … plants will grow native — Marjory S. Douglas

a native species

d. : of, relating to, or being livestock found typically in a particular region ; often : inferior and not of a recognized breed

7. : left or remaining in a natural state : being without embellishment or artificial change : simple , unadorned , unaffected

our feelings still native and entire, unsophisticated by pedantry — Edmund Burke

8. archaic : belonging to or associated with one by birth

that man should thus … abridge him of his just and native rights — William Cowper

9. obsolete : having a right or title by birth : rightful

10. : constituting the original substance or source of something

the way I must return to native dust — John Milton


a. : occurring in nature especially uncombined with other elements

native gold

native sulfur

b. : as found in nature : not artificially prepared

native gypsum

salt in the native state

conversion of a native protein to a denatured protein


[ native (II) ]

a. : of, relating to, or composed of a people inhabiting a territorial area at the time of its discovery or its becoming familiar to a foreigner

native societies

a native worker

b. : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of such a people having a less complex civilization

the native Indian tribes of the American prairie

native reserve

c. usually capitalized , Africa : of, relating to, or being a Negro of unmixed descent

the vast Native labor resources of the country — A.J.Bruwer

the third Native woman to qualify as a doctor — Johannesburg Sunday Express

13. chiefly Australia : having a usually superficial resemblance to a specified English plant or animal

native cat

native robin

native cherry

14. : free from branding marks : unbranded — used of cattle and hides


indigenous , endemic , aboriginal , autochthonous : native applies to one having birth or origin in a locality indicated; it may imply concord or compatibility with that locality

except for highly technical work, the company employs only native whites — American Guide Series: Louisiana

2,479 European and 37,032 native teachers — Americana Annual

interest centers on our native roots, the American past that here is many strata deep — Bernard DeVoto

indigenous may apply to that which is not only native but which, insofar as can be known, has never been introduced, transported, or brought from another area into the locality in question

southern Rhodesia at present employs about half a million Africans, of whom half are indigenous and half are migrants from neighboring territories — Peter Scott

the sugarcane, a plant indigenous to the island — Herman Melville

no rich heritage of indigenous folk song — C.A. & Mary Beard

endemic may but does not necessarily add to indigenous the nation of being peculiar to a specific locality or sphere

the Russia of the czars was backward, poor, threatened by an endemic revolutionary crisis, tyrannical and inefficient in practically all aspects of its life — D.W.Brogan

keen competition among universities in educational affairs and the pursuit of knowledge is necessary as a corrective to that complacency which is an endemic disease of academic groups — J.B.Conant

malaria is endemic in 17 states of our own South and Southwest — Harper's

aboriginal is likely to apply to the primitive native belonging to the earliest extant race inhabiting an area

a primitive aboriginal race in the southeast of Sumatra — J.G.Frazer

the squatters who staked off so-called government lands pushed the aboriginal inhabitants back into the mountains and deserts — American Guide Series: California

autochthonous (along with its variants) applies to that which either definitely or presumably had its eventual origin or emergence at the locality in question

autochthonous cases of malaria have never been reported from these islands — Biological Abstracts

born in the West of Britain, a Welshman, into that tribe of autochthonous types who were living in the Island before the Danes, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, and other aggressors arrived — Henry Williamson

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English natif, from Medieval Latin nativus, from Latin nativus, adjective, belonging by birth, native; in other senses from native (I)

1. : one born in a state of bondage or serfdom : a born thrall

these lairds had also their natives and husbandmen for labor in feudal services — James Colville

2. archaic

a. : one born under a particular sign or planet

b. : the subject of a nativity or other horoscope


a. : one born in a particular place : one connected with a place (as by parental domicile or childhood residence) even though actually born or later resident elsewhere

the total numbers of natives and foreign-born persons — Population Census Methods

— often used with following of

a native of Hoboken, where he was born on March 26 — Current Biography

b. Australia : a white person born in the country as distinguished from one born abroad

4. obsolete : a fellow countryman : compatriot — used in plural

the king (distrusting his natives ) employed … many French foreigners — Thomas Fuller


a. : one of a people inhabiting a territorial area at the time of its discovery or becoming familiar to a foreigner ; especially : one belonging to a people having a less complex civilization

a protest against the attitude of the white population toward the natives — Irish Digest

b. : one held to resemble such a person : an inhabitant of a region spoken of as if strange or newly discovered

c. usually capitalized , Africa : a Negro of unmixed descent ; specifically : bantu

Natives and Coloreds who live along this public road — Farmer's Weekly South Africa

— compare african II 1, afrikaner , asiatic II 2, cape colored , european II 2b

6. dialect Britain : one's native country or locality

when he came back to his native … he knew no one — Cornhill Magazine


a. : a local resident ; especially : a person who has lived all his life in a place as distinguished from a visitor or a temporary resident

give visitors — and the mere … native — a new aspect of a city — Irish Digest

natives and old-time summer residents — New York Times

the split between natives and refugees — Dolf Sternberger

b. : such a person inhabiting a small town or village


a. : something (as an animal, vegetable, or mineral) indigenous to a particular locality : one produced in a given area and not normally produced or found elsewhere

improbable that corn could have been a native of the region — P.C.Mangelsdorf

the Mexican bean bettle, a native of Central America — American Guide Series: New Jersey

b. Britain : an oyster grown in local waters

eating natives until the man who opened them grew pale — Charles Dickens

9. : a very old and large snapper — called also rock native

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.