Definition of aborigine in English:



  • 1A person, animal, or plant that has been in a country or region from earliest times.

    • ‘Unlike Australia, Mahathir said Malaysia ‘had a very good history of treating our aborigines, for example.’’
    • ‘Most Taiwanese and aborigines speak both a local language and the national language.’
    • ‘The local aborigines had refused to join the expedition declaring the mountains to be the domain of the gods and preferring prison and death to a journey beyond the ‘mists’.’
    • ‘Senator Aidan Ridgeway is the only aborigine in the national parliament.’
    • ‘What's really been great is just the sheer pride aborigines get from watching the film.’
    • ‘He flatly denied that there was such a group of people on Taiwan and instead tried to convince the audience that the term ‘native Taiwanese’ should be used to refer to the aborigines.’
    • ‘We were strangers to this sort of classification - animists - aborigines, etc, but we have learnt it from the English rulers.’
    • ‘The distant aborigines who did the trapping would trade with others who would take the furs to the bayside posts or trade with others again who traded with those who made the trip.’
    • ‘We don't have like Guatemala, big ethnic groups of aborigines, but we do have nearly I would say 20,000 of them, living very isolated and with difficulties, and we work hard for them.’
    • ‘Evidence for this impact consisted of legends from American aborigines and the Carolina Bays - assumed to be impact craters from the comet.’
    • ‘It is one of the Basque Country's major cities, a loose federation of fiercely independent regions, home to a proud, ancient people often referred to as the aborigines of Europe.’
    • ‘The Galapagos archipelago possesses a rare advantage from its isolated situation, and from the fact that its history has never been interfered with by any aborigines of the human race.’
    • ‘As far as anyone can tell the island was never inhabited by aborigines although there's evidence that they did live here when the island was part of the mainland some nine thousand to two thousand years before Europeans arrived.’
    • ‘From the 1960s to the early 1990s, the percentage of aborigines, especially from the Atayal tribe, among indentured girls in Taiwan continually increased.’
    • ‘From the pre-historic days of aborigines to the present day of robots and computers the ideas of managing available resources have been in existence in some form or other.’
    • ‘After 1730, the French competed from the southwest as La Verendrye and his sons developed a series of posts to intercept the aborigines travelling from the west to the Bay.’
    • ‘Although the aboriginal people are highly environmentally conscious and don't kill to harm the natural eco-system, the aborigines do hunt bears sometimes, attracted by the high profits, according to Huang.’
    • ‘As Noel kept up a commentary on his life in the aborigine reservations, he also showed pictures of how tin shanties and flimsy tents were the ‘homes’ of the aborigines for the better part of the 20th century.’
    • ‘Nobody lived any more like aborigines in ‘geographical communities’: the community of the 21st century was one-touch, broadband and ‘virtual’.’
    • ‘They co-exist peacefully with people of other castes and tribes that include the Yeravas, Kurubas, the aborigines called Kudiyas, the lower caste called Poleyas.’
    native, indigene, local, original inhabitant
    native, indigene, aboriginal, local, original inhabitant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An aboriginal inhabitant of Australia.
      • ‘That same year the station was also selected for the distribution of rations and blankets to the Aborigines.’
      • ‘That the first marriage in South Australia between an Aborigine, Kudnarto, and a European, Tom Adams, was solemnised on 27 January 1848.’
      • ‘He was an Aborigine, almost unknown then in Australian first-class cricket, and he was alarmingly fast.’
      • ‘It recommended unanimously that all Australian Aborigines should have the right to vote.’
      • ‘The art of making these rafts was practised by most Aborigines in Australia from the rivers to the coasts.’
      • ‘It's in the middle of the Anmatjere region which covers an area of approximately 4.000 kilometres and has a population of around 1,400 of which nearly 80% are aborigines.’
      • ‘That a cause for violence by Aborigines was the taking of Aboriginal women by settlers was very much skimmed over.’
      • ‘Lee said that as an Aborigine, he could sympathize with the Hakka people's status as a minority group.’
      • ‘Even today aborigines in the outback habitually go walkabout to experience what they call the ‘songlines’, singing the old songs and tunes and thereby continuing the very essence of creation.’
      • ‘Since then he has made documentaries on the Vietnam War, the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, Castro's Cuba and films about Australian aborigines and local environmental issues.’
      • ‘How would it have first appeared to early European visitors and what might the Aborigines have had to say about it?’
      • ‘The Flinders Ranges provide a home to Aborigines, farmers, miners and pastoralists.’
      • ‘At this level I think the Australian Aborigines are correct with their concept of the Dreaming.’
      • ‘Their study of the Aranda Aborigines of Central Australia is still widely quoted.’
      • ‘Common to much of her writing at this time is an appreciation of the culture and traditional life of the Aborigines.’
      • ‘They are spoken in the Torres Strait, and among Aborigines in northern Australia.’
      • ‘Therefore, to be recorded in folklore implied that the Aborigines also must have been around at the same time.’
      • ‘The struggle over Australian history hinges on the treatment of Aborigines.’
      • ‘Kanyaka also became a distributing centre for food, blankets and rations for Aborigines in the area.’
      • ‘It was all washed down with a delicious tea made from the leaves of the sassafras, whose benefits were once known only to the Aborigines.’
      • ‘How is the Tasmanian experience different to that of mainland Aborigines?’
      • ‘It also had a number of Afghans and Aborigines living in and around the town.’
      • ‘There he became active in the One People of Australia League and, reportedly, was the first Aborigine to join the Liberal Party.’
      • ‘Australia's Aborigines also understand what it means to be vilified and dehumanised.’
      • ‘The film also inadequately deals with the situation confronting local Aborigines on the mission.’
      • ‘I expect that things were no better for the Aborigines of Australia.’
      • ‘In Australia, Aborigines have already had several sets of remains reburied.’


Both Aboriginal and Aborigine may be used as nouns referring to a member of an Australian Aboriginal people, but Aborigine is the commoner and is often preferred, especially in the plural


Mid 19th century: back-formation from the 16th-century plural aborigines ‘original inhabitants’ (in classical times referring to those of Italy and Greece), from the Latin phrase ab origine ‘from the beginning’.