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aboriginal +‎ -ly


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæb.əˌɹɪd͡ʒ.n̩.ə.li/, /ˌæb.əˌɹɪd͡ʒ.ɪn.ə.li/
  • (file)


aboriginally (not comparable)

  1. From or in the earliest known times. [First attested in the early 19th century.][1]
  2. In the period before contact with Europeans (especially with reference to peoples subjected to colonization).
    • 1896, Allan Eric, “Buckra” Land: Two Weeks in Jamaica, Boston, Appendix,,[2]
      Xaymaca, as the island was aboriginally known, is situated in the Caribbean Sea []
    • 1973, Charles F. Hockett, Man’s Place in Nature, New York: McGraw-Hill, Chapter 31, p. 523,[3]
      [] in the New World, where pots were never aboriginally shaped by turning, wheeled vehicles also were absent []
    • 1986, Robert L. Blakely and David S. Mathews, “What Price Civilization?” in Miles Richardson and Malcolm C. Webb (eds.), The Burden of Being Civilized: An Anthropological Perspective on the Discontents of Civilization, Athens: University of Georgia Press, p. 12,[4]
      The question is, was the disease [tuberculosis] present aboriginally in the New World, or was it introduced to Native Americans by European explorers?
  3. (Canada) By indigenous Canadians (often capitalized in this sense). [First attested in the 1980s.]
    • 1987, Kate Irving, What Government Does in the Western Northwest Territories, Yellowknife: Western Constitutional Forum,[5]
      All land subject to the claim becomes either Crown land or aboriginally-owned land.
    • 1991, Jim Harding, An Annotated Bibliography of Aboriginal-controlled Justice Programs in Canada, Prairie Justice Research, School of Human Justice, University of Regina, p. 80,[6]
      It appears that lack of funding and control led to the demise of this program, but that with further refinement the idea has merit especially within an Aboriginally-controlled justice system.
    • 2002, Bradford W. Morse and Robert K. Groves, “Métis and Non-status Indians and Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 in Paul L.A.H. Chartrand (ed.), Who Are Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples? Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, pp. 209-210,[7]
      These areas [] relate to the identity of Aboriginally predominant communities.
  4. To the utmost degree (modifying an adjective).
    Synonyms: absolutely, thoroughly, utterly
    • 1920, Greville MacDonald, The Sanity of William Blake, London: George Allen and Unwin, p. 24,[8]
      Though his rage against iniquity is aboriginally simple and childlike, and is certainly not always level-headed, it is never divorced from reason []
    • 1931, G. K. Chesterton, “Dickens at Christmas” in Marie Smith (ed.), The Spirit of Christmas: Stories, Poems, Essays, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1985, p. 77,[9]
      There is something aboriginally absurd in the idea of the old gentleman staring wild-eyed at his own legs; and half recalling something familiar about them; as if he were revisiting the landscape of his youth.
    • 1978, Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea, London: Chatto & Windus, Chapter 3, pp. 181-182,[10]
      Dried apricots eaten with cake should be soaked and simmered first, eaten with cheese they should be aboriginally dry.
    • 2005, Bella Bathurst, The Wreckers, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Chapter 5, p. 152,[11]
      [] those travellers who did make the trip [to the Western Isles] returned with stories which made Scotland and the Scots sound as aboriginally exotic as shark-eating Eskimos or man-eating pygmies.


  1. ^ Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “aboriginally”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 6.