What is native?

  • (adj): Belonging to one by birth.
    Example: "My native land"; "one's native language"
    See also — Additional definitions below


The term "native" can have many different social and political connotations in different contexts. In some cases it is a neutral, descriptive term, for example, when stating that one is a native of a particular city or that a certain language is one's native language. However, in the context of colonialism—in particular, British colonialism—the term "natives", as applied to the inhabitants of colonies, assumed a disparaging and patronising sense, implying that the people concerned were incapable of taking care of themselves and in need of Europeans to administer their lives; therefore, these people resent the use of the term and consider it insulting, and at present English speakers usually avoid using it. This connotation has also led to controversy over the preference of the terms Native American or American Indians, though this controversy has resulted in either term being acceptable to most American Indians. And in the context of Nativism, in some periods a potent political force, "natives" are defined as a (predominantly white) group deserving of a special privileged position in comparison to immigrants.

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Some articles on native:

Australian Cuisine - Fruit
... There are many species of Australian native fruits, such as Quandong (native peach), Wattleseed, Muntries / Munthari berry, Illawarra plums, Riberry ...
Oka Crisis - Immediate Causes
... The tensions between native and non-native people in Canada have been high around communities bordering reserves, mainly over competing uses of land ... As the Office of Native Claims had rejected the Mohawk claim on the land three years earlier, his office did not consult the Mohawk on the plans ... Quebec's Ministry of Native Affairs John Ciaccia wrote a letter of support for the natives, stating that "these people have seen their lands disappear ...
Ridley Park, Pennsylvania - History - Native American
... to Stoney Creek in Ridley Township has been identified as a Native American town site ... Native Americans significantly influenced the built environment through their network of paths laid out for travel and communication purposes ...
Douglas, Georgia - Notable Residents and Natives
... one-half of the country music duo Sugarland, is a native of Douglas ... hitting coach for the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox, is a native of Douglas ... for a short time while working at a local saw mill.He was a native of Toccoa GA ...
... Seven species are native to the African continent, while the Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar ... have a special dietary requirement for native figs, making them problematic to keep in captivity ...

More definitions of "native":

  • (adj): Being such by origin.
    Example: "The native North American sugar maple"; "many native artists studied abroad"
  • (adj): Being or composed of people inhabiting a region from the beginning.
    Example: "Native Americans"
    Synonyms: aboriginal
  • (noun): A person who was born in a particular place; an indigenous person.
    Synonyms: indigen, indigene
  • (adj): As found in nature in the elemental form.
    Example: "Native copper"

Famous quotes containing the word native:

    The accent of a man’s native country remains in his mind and his heart, as it does in his speech.
    François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680)

    I wonder that we Americans love our country at all, it having no limits and no oneness; and when you try to make it a matter of the heart, everything falls away except one’s native State;Mneither can you seize hold of that, unless you tear it out of the Union, bleeding and quivering.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864)

    In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
    Emma Goldman (1869–1940)