AskDefine | Define native

Dictionary Definition

native adj
1 being such by origin; "the native North American sugar maple"; "many native artists studied abroad" [ant: foreign]
2 belonging to one by birth; "my native land"; "one's native language" [ant: adopted]
3 being or composed of people inhabiting a region from the beginning; "native Americans"; "the aboriginal peoples of Australia" [syn: aboriginal] [ant: nonnative]
4 as found in nature in the elemental form; "native copper"
5 normally existing at birth; "mankind's connatural sense of the good" [syn: connatural, inborn, inbred] n : a person who was born in a particular place; an indigenous person [syn: indigen, indigene]

User Contributed Dictionary



From natif, from nativus, from natus, ‘birth’.


  • /ˈneɪtɪv/


  1. Belonging to one by birth.
    This is my native land.
    English is not my native language.
    I need a volunteer native New Yorker for my next joke…
  2. Characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning.
    What are now called ‘native Americans’ used to be called Indians.
    The native peoples of Australia are called aborigines.
  3. Characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin.
    Many native artists studied abroad.
  4. In the context of "biology|of a species": Which occurs of its own accord in a given locality, to be contrasted with a species introduced by man.
    The leaf of the native North American sugar maple is the symbol of Canada.
  5. In the context of "computing|of software": Written specifically to run on a particular processor.
    This is a native back-end to gather the latest news feeds.



belonging to one by birth
characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning
  • Albanian: autokton
  • Chinese: 土着 (tǔzhù)
  • Dutch: oorspronkelijk, ingeboren, inheems, geboren en getogen
  • Finnish: alkuperäinen
  • Japanese: 土着 (dochaku-no)
  • Serbian: starosedeoc, samorodan
characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin
  • Albanian: vendës
  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 本地的 (běndì de)
  • Dutch: inheems
  • Finnish: paikallinen, alueellinen
  • French: natif
  • German: einheimisch
  • Hungarian: hazai, belföldi
  • Italian: nativo
  • Japanese: 自国の (じこくの, jikoku no)
  • Korean: 토산의 (tosanui)
  • Portuguese: nativo
  • Russian: родной
  • Spanish: nativo
  • Swedish: inhemsk
biology: which occurs of its own accord in a given locality
computing: written specifically to run on a particular processor
  • Dutch: autochtoon


  1. A person who is native to a place (literal or metaphoric).
    • She is a regular Wiki* native.
  2. Sometimes used pejoratively against indigenous peoples by their colonizers.
    • Some natives must have stolen our cattle.


person who is native to a place
used pejoratively against indigenous peoples
  • Dutch: inboorling,
  • Finnish: alkuasukas



  1. Form of feminine, natif



  1. Feminine plural form of nativo


  1. Plural of nativa





Extensive Definition

The term "native" can have many different social and political connotations, in different contexts. In some cases it is a neutral, descriptive term - as in stating that one is a native of a particular city or that a certain language is one's native language. However, in the context of colonialism - in particular, British colonialism - the term "natives", as applied to the inhabitants of colonies, assumed a disparaging and patronising sense, implying that the people concerned were incapable of taking care of themselves and in need of Europeans to administer their lives; therefore, these people resent the use of the term and consider it insulting, and at present Europeans usually avoid using it. Conversely, the original inhabitants of America - who during the process of being conquered and dispossessed were usually not called "natives" but "Indians" or "Red Indians" - have adopted at their own initiative the appellation "Native Americans", and bear it with pride. And in the context of Nativism, in some periods a potent political force, "natives" are defined as a (predominantly white) group deserving of a special privileged position in comparison to immigrants.
"Native" may also refer to:

Nationality and language


See also

native in French: Natif
native in Japanese: ネイティブ
native in Simple English: Native

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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