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Aboriginal

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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See also aboriginal

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

Attested 1660–70. From aborigine (1540–50) + -al, in turn a back-formation from plural aborigines, from [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]], applied in classical times to indigenous peoples of Italy and Greece, probably from ab origine (from the beginning).

Pronunciation

Adjective

Aboriginal (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
Aboriginal

Comparative
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Superlative
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  1. Of or pertaining to Australian Aboriginal peoples, Aborigines.
  2. Of or pertaining to Aboriginal peoples.
  3. First; original; indigenous; primitive; native; as, the Aboriginal tribes of America. Also aboriginal, especially when not referring to people.
    Mantled o'er with aboriginal turf. - Wordsworth.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun

Singular
Aboriginal

Plural
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Aboriginal ({{{1}}})
  1. An Aboriginal inhabitant of Australia, Aborigine.
  2. An Aboriginal inhabitant, person, animal, or plant native to the region. Also aboriginal.
    It may well be doubted whether this frog is an aboriginal of these islands. - Darwin.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Usage notes

Given that -al is an adjective suffix (and that Aboriginal was originally an adjective, Aborigines being the original noun), the usage of aboriginal as a noun was for a time considered incorrect.

Proper noun

Singular
Aboriginal

Plural
-

Aboriginal

  1. Any of the native languages spoken by Australian aborigines.

Usage notes

In Canada, Aboriginal is most commonly capitalized (indicated by its status as the main headword in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary). The term has official status in the Constitution Act of 1982, and while recognizing that it is widely used otherwise, since 1994 the Government of Canada has recommended the word be always capitalized (like, for example, Asian, Hispanic, and Nordic) and that it be used as a modifier, not a proper noun. It is used in this way by the Canadian Hansard and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary.

The U.S. Chicago Manual of Style recommends to capitalize ethnic groups and their associated adjectives: “Aborigines; an Aborigine; Aboriginal art”.

References

Elsewhere on the web

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