September 18, 2018
indigenous (adjective)
\in-DIJ-uh-nus\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: produced, growing, or living naturally in a particular region or environment
How do you use it?
The guide on our hike pointed out indigenous species of plants that grew along the trail.
Are you a word wiz?

Travelers to new places are likely to encounter species that are indigenous to the lands they visit. Which of these historic journeys do you think took place around the same time that "indigenous" became part of the English language?

"Indigenous" first appeared in the 1640s, not long after the Pilgrims landed and established the Plymouth Colony. "Indigenous" comes from the Latin word "indigena," meaning "native." One sense of "native" means the same thing as "indigenous," but that sense of "native" appeared about one hundred years earlier, and came from a different Latin root.
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