The word native has to do with where you're from. You're native to the country where you were born, and places have native plants and animals too.

Things that are native are indigenous — they were born there. This is where the term Native Americans comes from — they were on this land before Europeans came over. Native plants were originally in a place — they weren't transplanted. The same is true of native animals. Sometimes people born in a place are called natives, as in "You are a native of Cleveland." When you see the word native, think "born there."

Definitions of native

adj belonging to one by birth

“my native land”
“one's native language”
connatural, inborn, inbred
normally existing at birth
adopted, adoptive
acquired as your own by free choice

adj characteristic of or existing by virtue of geographic origin

“the native North American sugar maple”
“many native artists studied abroad”
autochthonal, autochthonic, autochthonous, endemic, indigenous
originating where it is found
produced in a particular country
grown or originating in a particular place
belonging to a place by birth
foreign, strange
relating to or originating in or characteristic of another place or part of the world
not native and not fully established; locally or temporarily naturalized
alien, exotic
being or from or characteristic of another place or part of the world
of plants or animals originating in a part of the world other than where they are growing
established, naturalized
introduced from another region and persisting without cultivation
foreign-born, nonnative
of persons born in another area or country than that lived in
used of especially merchandise brought from a foreign source
being or coming from another country
unnaturalised, unnaturalized
not having acquired citizenship
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adj characteristic of or relating to people inhabiting a region from the beginning

native Americans”
not being or composed of aborigines

adj as found in nature in the elemental form

native copper”
free of extraneous elements of any kind

n an indigenous person who was born in a particular place

“the art of the natives of the northwest coast”
aboriginal, aborigine, indigen, indigene
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(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

n a person born in a particular place or country

“he is a native of Brazil”
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

n indigenous plants and animals

Type of:
being, organism
a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently

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