What is native?

  • (noun): A person who was born in a particular place; an indigenous person.
    Synonyms: indigen, indigene
    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.

Read more about Native.

Some articles on native:

... Seven species are native to the African continent, while the Grey-headed Lovebird is native to Madagascar ... the Black-collared Lovebirds have a special dietary requirement for native figs, making them problematic to keep in captivity ...
Ridley Park, Pennsylvania - History - Native American
... Land adjacent 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
... Jennifer Nettles, one-half of the country music duo Sugarland, is a native of Douglas ... first baseman and hitting coach for the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox, is a native of Douglas ... lived here for a short time while working at a local saw mill.He was a native of Toccoa GA ...
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 without having been consulted or compensated ...
Australian Cuisine - Fruit
... There are many species of Australian native fruits, such as Quandong (native peach), Wattleseed, Muntries / Munthari berry, Illawarra plums, Riberry, Native Raspberries and Lilli pillies ...

More definitions of "native":

  • (adj): Belonging to one by birth.
    Example: "My native land"; "one's native language"
  • (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
  • (adj): As found in nature in the elemental form.
    Example: "Native copper"

Famous quotes containing the word native:

    If Los Angeles has been called “the capital of crackpots” and “the metropolis of isms,” the native Angeleno can not fairly attribute all of the city’s idiosyncrasies to the newcomer—at least not so long as he consults the crystal ball for guidance in his business dealings and his wife goes shopping downtown in beach pajamas.
    —For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    The sacrifice to Legba was completed; the Master of the Crossroads had taken the loas’ mysterious routes back to his native Guinea.
    Meanwhile, the feast continued. The peasants were forgetting their misery: dance and alcohol numbed them, carrying away their shipwrecked conscience in the unreal and shady regions where the savage madness of the African gods lay waiting.
    Jacques Roumain (1907–1945)

    The air of one’s native country is the most healthy air.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)