• 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.
Show More

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

Synonyms for indigenous

Antonyms for indigenous

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

Examples from the Web for non-indigenous

Historical Examples of non-indigenous

  • The fact that it is not found in woods is taken as evidence that it is non-indigenous.

    Wayside and Woodland Trees

    Edward Step

British Dictionary definitions for non-indigenous


adjective (when postpositive, foll by to)
  1. originating or occurring naturally (in a country, region, etc); native
  2. innate (to); inherent (in)
Show More
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 non-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).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

non-indigenous 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.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.