The native, indigenous people of a country are often called aboriginals. In Canada, the First Nations — Inuits and Métis — would be considered aboriginals.

The adjective form of aboriginal is used to describe anything related to the people native to an area. You may visit a museum that has an exhibit of aboriginal art; or, if you're a linguist, you may study aboriginal languages. The adjective can also be used to describe something that is indigenous to a place and existed there from the beginning, such as "an aboriginal forest" that consists of old, old trees.

Definitions of aboriginal
  1. adjective
    having existed from the beginning; in an earliest or original stage or state
    aboriginal forests”
    synonyms: primaeval, primal, primeval, primordial
    at or near the beginning of a period of time or course of events or before the usual or expected time
  2. adjective
    characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning
    “the aboriginal peoples of Australia”
    synonyms: native
    see moresee less
    not being or composed of aborigines
  3. noun
    an indigenous person who was born in a particular place
    “the Canadian government scrapped plans to tax the grants to aboriginal college students”
    synonyms: aborigine, indigen, indigene, native
    see moresee less
    show 27 types...
    hide 27 types...
    (formerly) a native or inhabitant of the Levant
    a native or inhabitant of Mauritius
    a native or inhabitant of the Philippines
    a native or inhabitant of Russia
    a native or inhabitant of Seychelles
    a member of the Turkic-speaking people living from the Volga to the Ural Mountains (the name has been attributed to many other groups)
    Udmurt, Votyak
    a member of the Finno-Ugric-speaking people living in eastern European Russia
    a member of a Finnish people living in the northwestern Urals in Russia
    Cheremis, Cheremiss, Mari
    a member of a rural Finnish people living in eastern Russia
    Inger, Ingerman, Ingrian
    a member of western Finnish people formerly living in the Baltic province where Saint Petersburg was built
    Carelian, Karelian
    a member of the Finnish people living in Karelia in northwestern European Russia
    Khanty, Ostyak
    a member of the nomadic Ugrian people living in northwestern Siberia (east of the Urals)
    Mordva, Mordvin, Mordvinian
    a member of the agricultural people living in the central Volga provinces of European Russia
    a member of the Samoyedic people living on the Taimyr Peninsula in Siberia
    Ostyak-Samoyed, Selkup
    one of the people of mixed Ostyak and Samoyed origin in Siberia
    a Samoyedic-speaking person in northwestern Siberia
    Veps, Vepse, Vepsian
    a member of a Finnish people of Russia
    Mansi, Vogul
    a member of a nomadic people of the northern Urals
    a member of one of the groups living in the Yenisei river valley in western Siberia
    a member of the predominantly Muslim people in the southern Philippines
    Great Russian
    a member of the chief stock of Russian people living in European Russia; used to distinguish ethnic Russians from other peoples incorporated into Russia
    a resident of Moscow
    a native or inhabitant of Georgia in Asia
    a native or inhabitant of Siberia
    a native or inhabitant of Chechnya
    a member of a people native to the Philippines chiefly inhabiting central Luzon around and including Manila
    Bisayan, Visayan
    a member of the most numerous indigenous people of the Philippines
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week