Definition of NATIVE

NATIVE Noun and Adjective

Native can function as both a noun and an adjective. As a noun, it refers to a person born in a particular place or country. As an adjective, it describes something inherent, original, or characteristic of a particular place, species, or culture.

NATIVE as a noun

As a noun, a native refers to an individual who is born in a specific place or country. This term emphasizes one’s place of birth or origin, highlighting a deep connection to a particular geographical location or community.

Cultural Identity: For many individuals, being a native holds significant cultural and personal meaning, representing a sense of belonging, heritage, and identity tied to their birthplace or ancestral homeland. Natives often maintain strong cultural ties and traditions associated with their place of origin.

Indigenous Peoples: In the context of indigenous peoples, the term native may specifically refer to the original inhabitants of a region or territory, often with distinct cultural, linguistic, and spiritual traditions. These natives have historical ties to the land and may advocate for recognition of their rights and preservation of their heritage.

NATIVE as an adjective

As an adjective, native describes something that is inherent, original, or characteristic of a particular place, species, or culture. It emphasizes qualities or attributes that are innate or intrinsic to a given context.

Natural Environment: In environmental contexts, native species refer to plants, animals, or organisms that naturally occur and have evolved in a specific ecosystem or region. These species play essential roles in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity within their native habitats.

Language and Linguistics: In linguistics, a native language is the first language or mother tongue that a person learns from birth. It is the language spoken in one’s household or community and typically holds significant cultural and communicative value for native speakers.

Technology and Computing: In computing, the term native can refer to software or applications that are designed specifically for a particular operating system or platform. Native applications are optimized for performance and functionality within their intended environment.

Cultural Appropriation: The concept of native can also intersect with discussions of cultural appropriation, where elements of a culture are adopted or exploited by outsiders without proper acknowledgment or respect for the native culture’s significance and context.

In conclusion, native is a versatile term that can function as both a noun and an adjective. As a noun, it refers to a person born in a particular place or country, emphasizing ties to one’s birthplace or ancestral homeland. As an adjective, it describes something inherent, original, or characteristic of a specific place, species, or culture. Whether used to denote cultural identity, environmental context, linguistic heritage, or technological optimization, the term native underscores the importance of origins, authenticity, and intrinsic qualities within diverse contexts.

NATIVE in a sentence

NATIVE as a noun in a sentence

  • The native explained the local customs to the tourists.
  • She is a native of New York City, having lived there her entire life.
  • The native was proud of his cultural heritage and traditions.
  • During their travels, they met a native who guided them through the jungle.
  • He learned the language quickly by interacting with the natives.
  • The native knew all the hidden spots that weren’t in the guidebooks.
  • Many natives participate in the annual cultural festival.
  • The natives welcomed the visitors with open arms and traditional dances.

NATIVE as an adjective in a sentence

  • She is a native speaker of Spanish.
  • The native plants in this region require little water to thrive.
  • He missed the native cuisine of his homeland while living abroad.
  • The native wildlife in the area includes a variety of unique species.
  • She wore a dress made of native fabrics.
  • They studied the native traditions and rituals of the indigenous people.
  • The native language of the island is rapidly disappearing.
  • He took pride in his native country’s history and achievements.

Origin of NATIVE

The word native has its origins in Latin and Old French, with a rich history and diverse usage. Here’s an overview of its etymology:

  • Latin Origins: The word “native” is derived from the Latin word “nativus,” which comes from “natus,” the past participle of “nasci,” meaning “to be born.” In Latin, “nativus” originally referred to something that is born or produced naturally, such as a plant or animal native to a particular region.
  • Old French Influence: During the Middle Ages, Old French heavily influenced the English language due to the Norman Conquest of England. The Old French word “natif” was derived from the Latin “nativus” and carried similar meanings related to birth, origin, or belonging to a particular place.
  • Semantic Evolution: Over time, the meaning of “native” in English expanded beyond its original sense of birth or origin to encompass a broader range of concepts related to belonging, identity, and association with a particular place or community. It can refer to people, plants, animals, or things that are indigenous or original to a specific region or habitat.
  • Usage: In contemporary English, “native” is used in various contexts, including ethnicity (“native population”), language (“native speaker”), flora and fauna (“native species”), and technology (“native application”). It can also be used metaphorically to describe inherent qualities or characteristics.

Overall, the etymology of native highlights its Latin and Old French roots and its evolution to encompass a wide range of meanings related to birth, origin, and belonging in modern English usage.


  • Indigenous
  • Original
  • Local
  • Aboriginal
  • Autochthonous
  • Homegrown
  • Native-born
  • Endemic


  • Foreign
  • Alien
  • Exotic
  • Imported
  • Non-native
  • Immigrant
  • Outsider
  • Transplant


  • Ancestral
  • Heritage
  • Tradition
  • Birthplace
  • Ancestor
  • Homeland
  • Nativity
  • Indigenousness

🌐 🇬🇧 NATIVE in other languages

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