[ in-dij-uh-nuhs ]
/ 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.

Nearby words

  1. indigen,
  2. indigence,
  3. indigency,
  4. indigene,
  5. indigenize,
  6. indigenous australian,
  7. indigent,
  8. indigently,
  9. indigested,
  10. indigestible

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
Can be confusedendogenous indigenous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for indigenous

British Dictionary definitions for indigenous


/ (ɪnˈdɪdʒɪnəs) /

adjective (when postpositive, foll by to)

originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc); native
innate (to); inherent (in)
Derived Formsindigenously, adverbindigenousness or indigenity (ˌɪndɪˈdʒɛnɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for indigenous

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 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

Science definitions for indigenous


[ ĭn-dĭjə-nəs ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.