Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[in-dij-uh-nuh s] /ɪnˈdɪdʒ ə nəs/
originating in and characteristic of a particular region or country; native (often followed by to):
the plants indigenous to Canada; the indigenous peoples of southern Africa.
innate; inherent; natural (usually followed by to):
feelings indigenous to human beings.
Origin of indigenous
1640-50; < Latin indigen(a) native, original inhabitant (indi-, by-form of in- in-2 (cf. indagate) + -gena, derivative from base of gignere to bring into being; cf. genital, genitor) + -ous
Related forms
indigenously, adverb
indigenousness, indigenity
[in-di-jen-i-tee] /ˌɪn dɪˈdʒɛn ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
nonindigenous, adjective
unindigenous, adjective
unindigenously, adverb
Can be confused
endogenous, indigenous.
1. autochthonous, aboriginal, natural.
1. foreign, alien. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for indigenous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for indigenous


adjective when postpositive, foll by to
originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc); native
innate (to); inherent (in)
Derived Forms
indigenously, adverb
indigenousness, indigenity (ˌɪndɪˈdʒɛnɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin indigenus, from indigena indigene, from indi- in + gignere to beget
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for indigenous

1640s, from Late Latin indigenus "born in a country, native," from Latin indigena "sprung from the land," as a noun, "a native," literally "in-born," or "born in (a place)," from Old Latin indu "in, within" (earlier endo) + *gene-, root of gignere (perf. genui) "beget," from PIE *gen- "produce" (see genus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
indigenous in Science
Native to a particular region or environment but occurring naturally in other places as well. The American black bear is indigenous to many different parts of North America. Compare alien, endemic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for indigenous

Word Value for indigenous

Scrabble Words With Friends