• synonyms


  1. 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.
  2. innate; inherent; natural (usually followed by to): feelings indigenous to human beings.
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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 formsin·dig·e·nous·ly, adverbin·dig·e·nous·ness, in·di·gen·i·ty [in-di-jen-i-tee] /ˌɪn dɪˈdʒɛn ɪ ti/, nounnon·in·dig·e·nous, adjectiveun·in·dig·e·nous, adjectiveun·in·dig·e·nous·ly, adverb
Can be confusedendogenous indigenous



Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for indigenity


adjective (when postpositive, foll by to)
  1. originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc); native
  2. innate (to); inherent (in)
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Derived Formsindigenously, adverbindigenousness or 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

Word Origin and History for indigenity



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

indigenity in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.