Definition of aborigine in English:

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Pronunciation: /abəˈrɪdʒɪniː/


1A person, animal, or plant that has been in a country or region from earliest times.
Example sentences
  • Most Taiwanese and aborigines speak both a local language and the national language.
  • The local aborigines had refused to join the expedition declaring the mountains to be the domain of the gods and preferring prison and death to a journey beyond the ‘mists’.
  • Senator Aidan Ridgeway is the only aborigine in the national parliament.
1.1 (Aborigine) An aboriginal inhabitant of Australia.
Example sentences
  • Their study of the Aranda Aborigines of Central Australia is still widely quoted.
  • That the first marriage in South Australia between an Aborigine, Kudnarto, and a European, Tom Adams, was solemnised on 27 January 1848.
  • In Australia, Aborigines have already had several sets of remains reburied.


Both Aboriginal and Aborigine may be used as nouns referring to a member of an Australian Aboriginal people, but Aborigine is the commoner and is often preferred, especially in the plural.


Mid 19th century: back-formation from the 16th-century plural aborigines 'original inhabitants' (in classical times referring to those of Italy and Greece), from the Latin phrase ab origine 'from the beginning'.

  • This is a shortening of the 16th-century plural aborigines ‘original inhabitants’, which in classical times referred to the early people of Italy and Greece. The word comes from the Latin phrase ab origine ‘from the beginning’. Now both Aborigines and Aboriginals are standard plural forms when referring to Australian Aboriginal people, a specialized use which dates from the 1820s.

Words that rhyme with aborigine

polygeny, polygyny

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: abo|ri¦gine

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