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[ab-uh-rij-uh-nee] /ˌæb əˈrɪdʒ ə ni/
one of the original or earliest known inhabitants of a country or region.
(initial capital letter). Also, Aboriginal. Also called Australian Aborigine. a member of the people who were the earliest inhabitants of Australia.
aborigines, the original, native fauna or flora of a region.
Origin of aborigine
1540-50; by back formation from aborigines < Latin Aborīginēs the pre-Roman inhabitants of Italy, probably alteration of an earlier ethnonym by association with ab origine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for aborigine
Historical Examples
  • It was like the foot of an aborigine; undeformed, undeflected from nature's lines by fashionable footgear.

    Desert Conquest A. M. Chisholm
  • His dark, tawny skin, his blanket and features indicated that he was an aborigine.

    The Witch of Salem John R. Musick
  • Given half a chance, he would undoubtedly have told the savage more about the latter's habits than the aborigine himself knew.

    Buffalo Land W. E. Webb
  • Just after the capture, an aborigine told his tribe that his death was at hand.

  • Myall: An aborigine living according to tradition; wild; any of several types of wattle trees (genus Acacia).

  • However, he thought grimly, there was this Australian aborigine.

    Occasion for Disaster Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Many were in use among the Spanish half-castes on the ranch, and this aborigine grasped their meaning at once.

    His Unknown Wife Louis Tracy
  • Sal was not so black as the aborigine, and had been brought up on a mission station.

    Settling Day Nat Gould
  • One aborigine had been wont to emphasize his after-dinner arguments with a toothpick brandished fiercely between thumb and finger.

  • He had scratched an aborigine, and to his surprise was finding indications of a man.

    Where the Trail Divides Will Lillibridge
British Dictionary definitions for aborigine


an original inhabitant of a country or region who has been there from the earliest known times
Word Origin
C16: back formation from aborigines, from Latin: inhabitants of Latium in pre-Roman times, probably representing some tribal name but associated in folk etymology with ab origine from the beginning


Also called Aboriginal. a member of the indigenous people who were living in Australia when European settlers arrived
any of the languages of this people See also Australian (sense 3)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aborigine

1858, mistaken singular of aborigines (1540s; the correct singular is aboriginal), from Latin Aborigines "the first ancestors of the Romans; the first inhabitants" (especially of Latium), possibly a tribal name, or from ab origine, literally "from the beginning." Extended 1789 to natives of other countries which Europeans have colonized. Australian slang shortening Abo attested from 1922.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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