• synonyms


[aw-tok-thuh-nuh s]
See more synonyms for autochthonous on Thesaurus.com
  1. pertaining to autochthons; aboriginal; indigenous (opposed to heterochthonous).
  2. Pathology.
    1. found in the part of the body in which it originates, as a cancerous lesion.
    2. found in a locality in which it originates, as an infectious disease.
  3. Psychology. of or relating to ideas that arise independently of the individual's own train of thought and seem instead to have some alien or external agency as their source.
  4. Geology. (of rocks, minerals, etc.) formed in the region where found.Compare allochthonous.
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Also au·toch·tho·nal, au·toch·thon·ic [aw-tok-thon-ik] /ˌɔ tɒkˈθɒn ɪk/.

Origin of autochthonous

First recorded in 1795–1805; autochthon + -ous
Related formsau·toch·tho·nism, au·toch·tho·ny, nounau·toch·tho·nous·ly, adverbau·toch·tho·nous·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for autochthonous

aboriginal, endemic, native

Examples from the Web for autochthonous

Historical Examples of autochthonous

  • Sometimes the cultural change was an autochthonous development.

    A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open

    Theodore Roosevelt

  • Intentionally, and to a certain extent, Rimsky's work is autochthonous.

    Musical Portraits

    Paul Rosenfeld

  • Apparently from mother earth herself they had come, autochthonous.

    Where the Trail Divides

    Will Lillibridge

  • Thus Ancient Egypt believed itself to be autochthonous, and traced the origin of arts and sciences to native gods.

    Human Origins

    Samuel Laing

  • Smilisca is an excellent example of an Autochthonous Middle American genus.

British Dictionary definitions for autochthonous


autochthonic (ˌɔːtɒkˈθɒnɪk) or autochthonal

  1. (of rocks, deposits, etc) found where they and their constituents were formedCompare allochthonous
  2. inhabiting a place or region from earliest known times; aboriginal
  3. physiol (of some functions, such as heartbeat) originating within an organ rather than from external stimulation
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Derived Formsautochthonism or autochthony, nounautochthonously, adverb
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 autochthonous


"native, indigenous," 1845, from autochthon + -ous.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

autochthonous in Medicine


  1. Native to the place inhabited; indigenous.
  2. Originating in the place where found. Used of a disease originating in the part of the body where found, or of a disease acquired in the place where the patient is.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.