Native American


Usage note

Definition for native americans (2 of 2)

native American


a person born in the United States.

Origin of native American

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45

Related forms

na·tive-A·mer·i·can, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for native americans

Native American


A member of the indigenous peoples of North America


of, relating to, or characteristic of Native Americans or any of their languages
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

Culture definitions for native americans

Native Americans

The descendants of the original inhabitants of North America and South America before the arrival of white settlers from Europe, also called Indians or American Indians. The term Native American is sometimes preferred over Indian because the latter is a misnomer that originated with Columbus, who mistook the inhabitants of America for the people of India. Both terms, however, are accepted.


In recent years, Native American activism has taken the form of calls for the protection of their tribal or ancestral shrines and artifacts.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.