indigenous

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Late Latin indigenus (native, born in a country), from indi- (indu-), an old derivative of in (in), gen- the root of gignō (give birth to), and English -ous. Compare indigene, Ancient Greek ἐνδογενής (endogenḗs, born in the house), and the separately formed endogenous.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

indigenous (not comparable)

  1. Born or originating in, native to a land or region, especially before an intrusion. [from 17th c.]
    1. In particular, of or relating to a people (or their language or culture) that inhabited a region prior to the arrival of people of other cultures which became dominant (e.g., through colonialism), and which maintains a distinct culture.
      The Ainu are the indigenous ethnic group of Japan's Hokkaido Island.
  2. Innate, inborn. [from 19th c.]
    • 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, ch. 18:
      She was a native and essential cook, as much as Aunt Chloe,—cooking being an indigenous talent of the African race.
    • 1883, George MacDonald, "Stephen Archer" in Stephen Archer and Other Tales:
      He had all the tricks of a newspaper boy indigenous in him.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Some style guides recommend capitalizing Indigenous in reference to the racial/ethnic/cultural category.[1][2] (Lowercase indigenous has historically been more common.)[3]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

References[edit]

  • indigenous at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • indigenous in Keywords for Today: A 21st Century Vocabulary, edited by The Keywords Project, Colin MacCabe, Holly Yanacek, 2018.
  • indigenous in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.