Definition of indigenous in English:



  • Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native:

    ‘the indigenous peoples of Siberia’
    ‘coriander is indigenous to southern Europe’
    • ‘Discrimination against indigenous pygmies and ethnic minorities is a problem.’
    • ‘The indigenous Maoris took to the game as much as the Anglo-Saxon population.’
    • ‘The plant extract is found in cloves and also in several Cape indigenous plant species.’
    • ‘His book opened many readers' eyes to the natural beauty of indigenous plants.’
    • ‘Neither is indigenous in the manner that Indians were indigenous to North America.’
    • ‘Many Western readers deny that there are any such tales of indigenous African provenance.’
    • ‘How has it got a name in the indigenous language if it is not an indigenous species?’
    • ‘Some agreements were reached, including the recognition of indigenous communities.’
    • ‘Our lamb is from a breed of sheep indigenous to the fells around Kendal.’
    • ‘In some cases indigenous languages can be swamped by intrusive ones over a relatively short period of time.’
    • ‘Yet it is not merely the insects and tides that are conjured by the indigenous name for the region.’
    • ‘It uses mostly electric instruments, but draws heavily on indigenous styles and themes.’
    • ‘The tree is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, but will grow much further north.’
    • ‘Similarly, the terms native or indigenous are often euphemisms for what used to be termed primitive.’
    • ‘The Festival should be growing an indigenous culture rather than importing one from elsewhere.’
    • ‘Soybeans are indigenous to China and have long been a part of that country's diet.’
    • ‘Worst hit by the land clearances are the indigenous tribes that have lived for thousands of years in the forests.’
    • ‘Those who speak indigenous languages or wear traditional dress are styled Indians.’
    • ‘These mountains are famous as one of the great bastions of the indigenous language and culture of the Berbers.’
    • ‘Music in this country is listened to by the majority which speak indigenous languages.’
    native, aboriginal, local
    original, earliest, first, initial
    ancient, primitive, primeval, primordial
    autochthonous, autochthonic
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from Latin indigena a native (see indigene)+ -ous.