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See more synonyms for aborigine on Thesaurus.com
  1. one of the original or earliest known inhabitants of a country or region.
  2. (initial capital letter) Also Aboriginal. Also called Australian Aborigine. a member of the people who were the earliest inhabitants of Australia.
  3. aborigines, the original, native fauna or flora of a region.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for aborigine

Historical Examples

  • Just after the capture, an aborigine told his tribe that his death was at hand.

    The History of Tasmania , Volume II (of 2)

    John West

  • His dark, tawny skin, his blanket and features indicated that he was an aborigine.

    The Witch of Salem

    John R. Musick

  • Now the little Bhil is an aborigine, which is humiliating to think of.

    From Sea to Sea

    Rudyard Kipling

  • This put him in the position, he told himself, of an Australian aborigine.

    Occasion for Disaster

    Gordon Randall Garrett

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

    Occasion for Disaster

    Gordon Randall Garrett

British Dictionary definitions for aborigine


  1. an original inhabitant of a country or region who has been there from the earliest known times
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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


  1. Also called: Aboriginal a member of the indigenous people who were living in Australia when European settlers arrived
  2. any of the languages of this peopleSee also Australian (def. 3)
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper