Nearby words

  1. nationalization,
  2. nationalize,
  3. nationally,
  4. nationhood,
  5. nationwide,
  6. native advertising,
  7. native american,
  8. native americans,
  9. native bear,
  10. native bush


    go native, Informal: Sometimes Offensive. to adopt the way of life of a place or environment that is different from one's own (sometimes used facetiously): After living on the island for a year, we went native and did without air conditioning just like the locals. I don’t usually drink alcohol, but at the frat party I went native and played beer pong with everyone else.

Origin of native

1325–75; < Latin nātīvus inborn, natural, equivalent to nāt(us) (past participle of nāscī to be born) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English natif (adj.) < Middle French < Latin, as above

Related forms

Usage note

When used to mean "an original inhabitant of a place or country," the noun native may be taken as offensive and has declined in use. Historically it is associated with colonialist attitudes: indigenous people, especially when nonwhite, were typically considered to be primitive or culturally inferior. Unlike the noun, the corresponding adjectival use of native is generally acceptable, as in Native American. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for native

British Dictionary definitions for native



relating or belonging to a person or thing by virtue of conditions existing at the time of birthmy native city
inherent, natural, or innatea native strength
born in a specified placea native German
(when postpositive, foll by to) originating in a specific place or areakangaroos are native to Australia
characteristic of or relating to the indigenous inhabitants of a country or areathe native art of the New Guinea Highlands
(of chemical elements, esp metals) found naturally in the elemental form
unadulterated by civilization, artifice, or adornment; natural
archaic related by birth or race
go native (of a settler) to adopt the lifestyle of the local population, esp when it appears less civilized


(usually foll by of) a person born in a particular placea native of Geneva
(usually foll by of) a species originating in a particular place or areathe kangaroo is a native of Australia
a member of an indigenous people of a country or area, esp a non-White people, as opposed to colonial settlers and immigrants
offensive, old-fashioned any non-White
Derived Formsnatively, adverbnativeness, noun

Word Origin for native

C14: from Latin nātīvus innate, natural, from nascī to be born


Because of its potentially offensive and colonial overtones, native as a noun without qualification is best avoided. It is however acceptable when modified, as in : natives of Edinburgh, or a native of North Carolina

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 native
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for native




Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region; indigenous.
Occurring in nature pure or uncombined with other substances.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for native



Living or growing naturally in a particular place or region; indigenous.
Occurring in nature on its own, uncombined with other substances. Copper and gold are often found in native form.
Of or relating to the naturally occurring conformation of a macromolecule, such as a protein.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.